Cathedral Square Christchurch New Zealand

Cathedral Square in Christchurch, New Zealand, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Once a bustling hub of activity, the square was devastated by a series of earthquakes that struck the city in 2010 and 2011. However, in the years since, the area has been revitalized and transformed into a vibrant and exciting space that is once again drawing visitors from around the world.

Today, Cathedral Square is a beautiful and modern public space that is home to a wide range of attractions and amenities. Visitors can explore the stunning Christchurch Cathedral, which stands at the heart of the square and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. They can also take in the stunning views of the surrounding area from the top of the cathedral’s bell tower, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through the square’s many gardens and green spaces. And with a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cafes located nearby, there is always something to see and do in this bustling and vibrant part of Christchurch.

The History of Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square, Christchurch, NZ | Christchurch new zealand ...
The Early Years

Cathedral Square is located in the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand, and has been a significant location for the city since the early 1800s. The square was established in 1850, and the first building to be constructed was the Christchurch Cathedral. The Cathedral was completed in 1904 and became an iconic landmark of the city.

Over the years, the square became a popular gathering place for the people of Christchurch. It was used for various events and activities, including political rallies, parades, and concerts. The square was also home to several heritage buildings, including the Old Government Building, the Provincial Council Chambers, and the Chief Post Office.

The 2011 Earthquake

On February 22, 2011, a devastating earthquake struck Christchurch, causing significant damage to the city and its landmarks. The Christchurch Cathedral, located in Cathedral Square, was severely damaged, and its spire collapsed. The earthquake also caused damage to several other heritage buildings in the square.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the government and the Christchurch City Council began planning the rebuild of the city. The future of Cathedral Square and the Christchurch Cathedral became a topic of much debate. Heritage New Zealand and other organizations advocated for the preservation and restoration of the Cathedral, while others argued for its demolition and replacement with a modern structure.

Despite the controversy, the government and the Christchurch City Council ultimately decided to restore the Christchurch Cathedral. The restoration project began in 2019 and is expected to take several years to complete.

In conclusion, Cathedral Square has a rich history and has been an essential location for the people of Christchurch. The devastation caused by the 2011 earthquake brought about significant changes to the square, but the rebuild of the Christchurch Cathedral represents a new chapter in the history of this iconic location.

The Transformation of Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square re-visited | welcomeaboardnz
The Rebuild

Cathedral Square in Christchurch, New Zealand, has undergone an incredible transformation since the devastating earthquake of 2011. The rebuild of the square has been a long and challenging process, but the results are truly remarkable. One of the most significant changes is the replacement of the former Christchurch Cathedral with the Cardboard Cathedral. This temporary structure has become an iconic symbol of the city’s resilience and determination to rebuild. The Cardboard Cathedral, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, is made of cardboard tubes, timber, and steel, and has a stunning triangular design.

The Design

The design of the new Cathedral Square is a beautiful blend of modern architecture and traditional elements. The square features a new tower and spire, which have been designed to complement the Cardboard Cathedral. The tower is a stunning addition to the city’s skyline and is visible from many parts of Christchurch. The Chalice, a large metal sculpture by Neil Dawson, is another prominent feature of the square. The sculpture is a beautiful representation of the city’s regeneration and has become a popular tourist attraction.

The Art

The transformation of Cathedral Square has also included the addition of several beautiful art installations. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens have been expanded, and a new metal sculpture by Neil Dawson has been installed in the gardens. The sculpture is a stunning representation of the city’s flora and fauna and has become a popular spot for visitors to take photos. The square also features several other art installations, including a beautiful mural by local artist Wongi Wilson.

In conclusion, the transformation of Cathedral Square in Christchurch, New Zealand, is a remarkable achievement. The rebuild, design, and art installations have created a beautiful and inspiring space that celebrates the city’s resilience and determination to rebuild. The Cardboard Cathedral, tower, spire, Chalice, Neil Dawson’s metal sculpture, and Christchurch Botanic Gardens are just a few of the many elements that make Cathedral Square an incredible destination for visitors from around the world.

The Surrounding Area

$9.2m Cathedral Square development on hold over lack of progress ...
Cathedral Square is located in the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand, and is surrounded by a variety of interesting attractions and amenities. Visitors to the area will find plenty to see and do, from exploring the nearby Botanic Gardens to checking out the local restaurants and bars.

Restaurants and Bars

There are plenty of dining options available around Cathedral Square, ranging from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. One popular spot is Oxford, a cozy gastropub that offers a wide selection of craft beers and delicious pub fare. For those in search of something a little more upscale, the nearby OGB Bar & Restaurant is a great choice. This stylish eatery serves up modern New Zealand cuisine in a chic, contemporary setting.

The Library

Located just a few blocks from Cathedral Square, the Christchurch City Library is a must-visit for book lovers and history buffs alike. The library is home to an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and other materials, as well as a variety of exhibits and events throughout the year.

The Wizard of New Zealand

No visit to Cathedral Square would be complete without a stop at the statue of The Wizard of New Zealand. This eccentric performer and public speaker is a beloved local icon, and his statue is a popular spot for photos and selfies.

The Botanic Gardens

Located just a short walk from Cathedral Square, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens are a beautiful and peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Visitors can explore the gardens’ many paths and trails, admire the colorful flowers and plants, and even take a guided tour to learn more about the area’s unique flora and fauna.

Overall, the surrounding area of Cathedral Square offers plenty of attractions and amenities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal, a quiet place to read, or a scenic stroll through the gardens, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and exciting part of Christchurch.

Pedestrian Areas and Entertainment

christchurch: what i remember (Creature of the Shade)
Christchurch’s Cathedral Square is a pedestrian-friendly area that offers a variety of entertainment options for visitors. From food trucks to souvenir shops, there is something for everyone.

Food Truck Friday

One of the highlights of Cathedral Square is the weekly Food Truck Friday event. Every Friday, a variety of food trucks gather in the square to offer visitors a taste of the city’s culinary delights. From gourmet burgers to Asian fusion cuisine, there is a wide range of food options available. Visitors can enjoy their meals on the outdoor seating provided in the square while taking in the vibrant atmosphere.


For those looking for a unique keepsake to remember their visit to Cathedral Square, there are plenty of souvenir shops to choose from. These shops offer a range of locally made products, including jewelry, clothing, and artwork. Visitors can also find traditional New Zealand souvenirs, such as kiwi bird plush toys and Maori-inspired carvings.


The Christchurch Tramway is another popular attraction in Cathedral Square. The tramway offers visitors a unique way to explore the city center, with stops at major attractions such as the Botanic Gardens and the Arts Centre. The trams themselves are beautifully restored heritage vehicles, adding to the charm of the experience.

In summary, Cathedral Square in Christchurch offers a range of entertainment options for visitors, including food trucks, souvenir shops, and the Christchurch Tramway. It is a pedestrian-friendly area that is perfect for exploring the city center.

Memorials and Landmarks

Citizens War Memorial , Cathedral Square | discoverywall.nzAssorted Goodies: Before the Earth Moved, Part 2
The Citizens’ War Memorial

The Citizens’ War Memorial is a prominent landmark located in Cathedral Square. It was built to commemorate the soldiers from Christchurch who lost their lives in World War I. The monument consists of a tall stone column topped with a bronze figure of a soldier. The column is surrounded by four bronze figures, representing the army, navy, air force, and medical corps. The names of the soldiers who died in the war are inscribed on the base of the monument.

The Godley Statue

The Godley Statue is another significant monument in Cathedral Square. It is a bronze statue of John Robert Godley, who was the founder of Christchurch. The statue was unveiled in 1867 and is one of the oldest monuments in the city. The statue stands on a pedestal and depicts Godley in a formal pose, with his hand resting on a book.

The Rose Window

The Rose Window is a beautiful stained glass window located in the Christchurch Cathedral. It is one of the largest stained glass windows in the world and is considered a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture. The window features intricate designs, including images of saints, angels, and biblical scenes. It is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people every year.

The Memorial Wall

The Memorial Wall is a long wall located in Cathedral Square. It was built to commemorate the victims of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The wall is covered with thousands of tiles, each representing a person who lost their life in the earthquake. The tiles are arranged in a mosaic pattern, creating a beautiful and moving tribute to the victims.

In conclusion, the memorials and landmarks in Cathedral Square are an important part of Christchurch’s history and culture. They serve as reminders of the city’s past and the sacrifices made by its citizens. The Citizens’ War Memorial, the Godley Statue, the Rose Window, and the Memorial Wall are all unique and significant monuments that are worth visiting.

Preserving the Heritage

Cathedral Square | Photo
Preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square has been a critical aspect of the transformation process. The square has a rich history, and it was essential to maintain its cultural significance while modernizing it. The preservation process has involved several entities, including stabilisation work, Ridley Square, Nicholas Ridley, Cranmer, Latimer, Black Map, Henry Sewell, Canterbury Provincial Council, Henry Harper, Cathedral Square Amendment Ordinance 1859, and the Post Office.

The stabilisation work is one of the critical aspects of preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square. The work involved stabilizing the ChristChurch Cathedral, which was damaged during the 2011 earthquake. The work was completed in 2019, and it has helped to preserve the historical and cultural significance of the cathedral.

Ridley Square, named after Nicholas Ridley, is another entity that has played a significant role in preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square. The square is located in the heart of the square and is a popular spot for tourists. It features a statue of Nicholas Ridley, a prominent figure in the Reformation, and is a testament to the square’s historical significance.

Cranmer and Latimer, two other prominent figures in the Reformation, are also celebrated in Cathedral Square. The Black Map, a memorial to the Canterbury earthquakes, is another entity that helps to preserve the heritage of the square. The map features the names of all the victims of the earthquakes and is a poignant reminder of the tragedy that struck the city.

The Canterbury Provincial Council and Henry Sewell are also entities that have played a significant role in preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square. The council was responsible for the establishment of the square, while Sewell was the first Premier of the province. The Cathedral Square Amendment Ordinance 1859 was also enacted to protect the square’s heritage.

Finally, the Post Office is another entity that has played a role in preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square. The building is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture and is an iconic landmark in the square. It has been restored to its former glory and now houses a museum that showcases the history of the square and the city.

Overall, preserving the heritage of Cathedral Square has been a critical aspect of the transformation process. The entities involved in the preservation process have done an excellent job of maintaining the cultural and historical significance of the square while modernizing it for the future.

Visiting Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square - Historic city centre regeneration achieved through ...
Location Information

Cathedral Square is located in the central business district (CBD) of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is easily accessible by car, bus, or on foot. The Square is surrounded by several notable landmarks, including the Christchurch Cathedral and the Chalice sculpture.

The Atmosphere

Cathedral Square is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The Square has a lively atmosphere, with street performers and musicians often entertaining visitors. The area is surrounded by restaurants and cafes, making it a great spot for a quick bite to eat or a relaxing coffee break.

Trust & Safety Standards

Christchurch is known for its high safety standards, and Cathedral Square is no exception. The area is well-lit and patrolled by security personnel, ensuring that visitors can enjoy their time in the Square without any safety concerns. Additionally, the Square has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor, indicating that it is a highly recommended tourist destination.

Overall, Cathedral Square is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Christchurch. With its central location, lively atmosphere, and high safety standards, visitors are sure to have an enjoyable experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *