Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception HK : Description
The cathedral, built in an English Gothic style, is cruciform in the shape of the Latin cross. The exterior walls of the church were built from brick and stone, while its base and columns were made of granite. Its dimensions are 82 m (269 ft) long, 40 m (131 ft) wide and 23.7 m (78 ft) tall, with the tower at the centre rising to 33.7 m (111 ft). Located to the right of the main altar and sanctuary is the side altar of St. Joseph. It was given to the cathedral by King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and the donation was facilitated by Joseph Mary Sala, an expatriate living in Hong Kong who was from the nobility of Italy. It is adorned by the royal coat of arms of the House of Savoy; this conspicuous symbol of Italy was said to have helped the cathedral identify itself as Italian rather than British, and thus, remain untouched throughout the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, as the Kingdom of Italy and Empire of Japan were both signatories to the Tripartite Pact. Located to the left of the main altar is the side altar of the Sacred Heart. It was previously used as the high altar of the original cathedral at Wellington Street. It now houses the Blessed Sacrament—serving as the cathedral’s main tabernacle after the removal of the high altar in 1969—and is reserved for Eucharistic adoration.