Domus Dei Cathedral
A city is best explored on foot and Pondicherry is no exception. So my girlfriends and I decided to walk around the streets and let the by lanes surprise us. While wandering through the narrow lanes of the French colony we came across Domus Dei Cathedral. We walked in thinking it would be like any other church but we were in for a huge surprise. Domus Dei is an architectural delight. Every nook and cranny is picturesque. By the time we entered the church it was already 5 PM. We couldn’t spent a lot of time inside the church. The little time we spent was definitely not enough. So we dropped by again the next day. When you are on a tight schedule on a trip, a place has to be very compelling to bring you back. Guess Domus Dei Cathedral has everything that it takes to bring you back.
Domus Dei And Its Fascinating Facade
No mention of Pondicherry is complete without its churches. Pondicherry boasts the possession of some beautiful churches and Domus Dei Cathedral is definitely one of them. The cathedral stands in the former Capuchins’ square and is surrounded by Dumas, Roman Rolland and Surcouf streets. Its front façade looks out over Bay of Bengal and if you are in time you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise from there
The entrance of the church is graced by a triangular pediment. The two windows on the either side of the entrance are symmetrically aligned with the aisle of the nave area of the church. If you are someone who appreciate symmetry then this church will be a delightful treat for you.
Two very prominent inscriptions can be seen on one of the facades. The first is right on the lintel above the entrance which is “DOMUS DEI” and it means “House of God”. The second one is on the frieze of the entablature and it reads “D.O.M. SUB INVOCATIONE DOMINAE ANGELORUM”. D.O.M (Domino Optimo Maximo) which means “To the Lord, the best and greatest” and SUB INVOCATIONE DOMINAE ANGELORUM translates to “Under the protection of Our Lady of Angels”.
Architectural Delight Of Domus Dei
As we walked inside the first thing that caught everyone’s attention was the crucifix. It was surrounded by layers of flowers. The interior of the church is such that you will look at everything at least twice. The dome of the church had an interesting luminosity. The carvings on the dome gave an illusion of contrast of various colors. It was actually the reflection of light which formed interesting color illusions. There were seats for offering prayer on both the sides of the nave.
Another interesting part of the church was its windows. The glass windows were painted in primary colors blue, yellow and red which helped in diffusing a soft glow of light in the dome. The church is mainly made of white marble with gold detailing which complements the whole color drama going on in the church.
This time we spent a lot of time exploring every bit of the church. Everyone tried to capture the beautiful interiors but no picture can do justice to the intricacies of the architecture.
Fun Trivia of Domus Dei
Domus Die is the only church in Pondicherry where mass is celebrated in all the three languages of the city which are French, English and Tamil. Isn’t that interesting ?
So the next time you visit Pondicherry try to pay a visit to this gem of a church. You can thank me later !