Built in Neo-Gothic style, on the same lines as Germany’s Cologne Cathedral (in North Rhine-Westphalia), Saint Philomena church is considered to be the second largest church in Asia. Boasting stained glass windows that highlight Christ’s birth, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ, it is truly a sight to behold. The spires are 53 m high, with the church’s architectural style reminding one of St Patrick’s Church in New York City, the USA. Every spire has a 12-foot-long cross adorning it. The pillars of the church have been embellished with carvings of flowers. The marble altar has a statue of St Philomena, which was brought to India from France. About 800 people can be accommodated inside at one time. The church was built in 1840, and gained popularity under the reign of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, ruler of Mysore (1894-1940). It was initially constructed to cater to the small community of Europeans who had settled in Mysore at the time. However, as the community began to grow, the need for a larger church grew, and St Philomena’s was expanded. It is believed to have been designed by a French artist named Daly.

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