Cathedral Square

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Cathedral Square information

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Christchurch's historic hub sits at the heart of the grid of streets that delineate the devastated city centre. At its centre (at the time of writing, at least) is what remains of ChristChurch Cathedral. Built in 1881, this much-loved icon of the city has become emblematic of the battle between those who seek to preserve what remains of Christchurch's heritage, the fiscal pragmatists, and those ideologically inclined to things new.

The February 2011 earthquake brought down the Gothic church's 63m-high spire, leaving only the bottom half of the tower remaining. Subsequent earthquakes in June 2011 and December 2011 destroyed the cathedral's prized stained-glass rose window. Despite the nave remaining largely intact, the deconstruction and demolition of the cathedral was announced in March 2012 by the Anglican Diocese. Heritage advocates launched court proceedings to prevent the demolition, and at the time of writing, some cases were still pending.

Other heritage buildings around Cathedral Sq were also badly damaged, but one modern landmark left unscathed is the 18m-high metal sculpture Chalice, designed by Neil Dawson. It was erected in 2001 to commemorate the new millennium.