Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Brompton Oratory, Kensington

Until the completion of Westminster Cathedral, the Oratory of St Philip Neri was the premier Roman Catholic church in London.

Built between 1878 and 1896 in the Italian baroque style, the Oratory is like a little piece of Rome dropped into London. The interior has a completed decorative scheme of the sort rarely seen in the UK, with extensive use of marble, stucco and mosaics. The church also contains an important collection of Italian statuary: the most notable are the huge statues of the apostles by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644-1725), from the Cathedral in Siena, dated about 1680-85. The highly decorated Lady Chapel altar and reredos came from the Chapel of the Rosary in San Domenico, Brescia, and dates from 1693.

The church is open every day for visitors (06:30-20:00), and there is also an extensive range of high Catholic services. It's a short walk from either Knightsbridge or the Victoria & Albert museum next door, and from South Kensington.

Brompton Road
, London SW7 2RP

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