Shanthi Cathedral which was established in Balmatta as a prayer centre for Christians, way back in 1862, has completed 150 years of its existence.
The Cathedral which was earlier located at Neereshwalya near State Bank was shifted to Balmatta due to the unavailability of land.
The Cathedral at Neereshwalya was built in 1834 by the members of Basel Mission from Switzerland. The historical Cathedral has witnessed several foreign preachers including Granger, Samuel Hebich, Herman Moegling, Brückner, Brigel, Menear, Ritter, Durr and others offering their services here. The Basel Missionaries residing in the nearby too used to visit Shanthi Cathedral for prayers.
However, the credit goes to architect and missionary Flyderer for preparing the blueprint of Shanthi Cathedral. The Cathedral was built using red bricks and country made tiles and it has 28 archs inside the cathedral and 28 outside the building.
The construction work was completed within 20 months and the dome was constructed later in 1904. The upstairs of the cathedral was built using the wooden pieces and has entry from three sides of the building. Though the cathedral has been prone to several renovations and changes over the period, the basic structure of it is still the original.
The first press in 1841, the first Kannada newspaper ‘Mangaloora Samachara’ in 1843, the first sewing centre in 1844, Veda Vidyalaya in 1847, primary school were later started in the same premises.
Shanthi cathedral, YMCA, Hebich Training Institute, printing press, sewing training institute, research centre, house for widows still continue to serve in the same premises and over 100 Christian families too reside in the land belonging to the Mission.
The centres started by Basel Missionaries were later on merged together and in 1968 the Basel Mission became a part of Mysore diocese. In 1970, when Mysore diocese was divided, the Mangalore region was considered as Karnataka South Diocese and the central Cathedral was named as Shanthi cathedral.
In the backdrop of the cathedral celebrating its 150th year, the renovation work has been taken up and a special thanks giving prayer will be organised on December 9, 2012.