The Cathedral Church of Saint German was built in 1879–84. The Patron of the Cathedral, St German of Man, was a Celtic missionary and holy man who lived from about 410 to 474.

The original cathedral of St German was inside the walls of Peel Castle and was built sometime in the 12th century when St Patrick's Isle was in the possession of Norse kings. At that time the church followed the Sarum Rite, prevalent throughout much of the British Isles. Around 1333 the Lords of Man refortified St Patrick’s Island and occupied the church as a fortress. In 1392 William Le Scroop repaired the Cathedral.

The building fell into ruin in the 18th century. After a considerable period of debate over who owned the ruins and site, it was decided not to rebuild that cathedral. The present building was constructed in 1879–84 to replace St Peter's Church in Peel's market place. In 1895, the bishop consecrated his chapel at the bishop's palace as pro-cathedral and instituted a chapter of canons with himself as Dean. That arrangement (bishop as dean) persisted even after the consecration of the new cathedral.

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Founded: 1879-1884
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Andrew Showler (17 months ago)
Nice to see such a lovely church open to the public. Food parcels available inside for those in need. Tea or coffee and cake sitting on the counter for anyone needing refreshments. Such a warm bright space. Welcome on a cold windy day.
John Hamshare (18 months ago)
A lovely welcome from a man who told us all about the treasures and history of the cathedral.
Ravina Talbot (18 months ago)
Perfect visit to hidden treasures of the Isle of Man. Don't forget to see the menorah which is unique and built from rockets fired on Gaza strip
Francis Reed (2 years ago)
Brilliant millennium garden surrounding Peel Cathedral, illustrating the history of Christianity on the Island since the 6th century until today, including contemporary science, health, art & play.
Henry Uniacke (2 years ago)
There is a foodbank for anyone in need, and warm blankets at the back of the Cathedral. Help yourself to tea and coffee at the tea bar. Enjoy the space, the light, the exhibitions. In warmer weather the gardens (under loving construction) are a haven of plants and wildlife. You can walk the labyrinth or spend some moments in the small Keeill (chapel).
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The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

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The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.