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Roman Catholic Church [Karachi].

Roman Catholic Church [Karachi].

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1900

Shelfmark: Photo 425/(18)

Item number: 18

Length: 9.4

Width: 13.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of St Patrick's Cathedral, Karachi, with the convent to the left, by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. Karachi, the former capital of Pakistan, is the largest city and main commercial centre of the country and the capital of Sindh province in the lower Indus valley. Its history prior to the 19th century as a port on the Arabian Sea north-west of the mouth of the Indus is scant, but it is believed to be ancient. It has been identified as Krokala, the port visited by Alexander's fleet in 326 BC, is noted in a collection of 16th century Turkish sailing directions, and was transformed from a fishing village to a trading post under the Kalhora and Talpur rulers of Sindh in the 18th century. However, it remained modestly sized until the British conquest of Sindh in 1843. They proceeded to develop the harbour of Karachi and transform it into a major port. St. Patrick's Cathedral, dating from 1881, was the last of the grand church buildings built by the British in Karachi. It was designed in an Indo-Gothic style by three members of the Society of Jesus, the pastors Father Wagner, Brother Kluver and Brother Iau, inspired by the cathedrals of medieval England. Money for the church was raised by Charles Napier, governor (1843-47) of Sindh, and his staff, together with funds from the Catholic community in Karachi. The church became the largest in Karachi, accommodating 1,500 worshippers.

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