Ilya Genkin Fine Art Landscape Photography, Travel Photography

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Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand


Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of Christchurch. The city was named by the Canterbury Association, which settled the surrounding province of Canterbury. The name of Christchurch was agreed on at the first meeting of the association on 27 March 1848. It was suggested by John Robert Godley, who had attended Christ Church, Oxford. Some early writers called the town Christ Church, but it was recorded as Christchurch in the minutes of the management committee of the association. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.

Christchurch Central City is the geographical centre and the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand. It is defined as the area within the four avenues (Bealey Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Moorhouse Avenue and Deans Avenue) and thus includes the densely built up central city, some less dense surrounding areas of residential, educational and industrial usage, and green space including Hagley Park, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and the Barbadoes Street Cemetery. It suffered heavy damage in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake.

The Anglican cathedral of ChristChurch in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was built in the second half of the 19th century. It is located in the centre of the city, surrounded by the plaza of Cathedral Square. It is the cathedral seat of the Bishop of Christchurch. The cornerstone was laid on 16 December 1864, but financial problems in the fledgling city saw its completion delayed between 1865 and 1873. The nave and tower were consecrated by 1881, though the entire building was not finished until 1904. The cathedral was originally designed by British architect Sir George Gilbert Scott with the New Zealand architect Benjamin Mountfort as supervisory architect on the site. Initial plans called for wooden construction, but plans were changed with the discovery of a source of good quality masonry stone locally. Banks Peninsula totara and matai timber was used for the roof supports. The cathedral spire reaches to 63 metres above Cathedral Square. Public access to the spire provides for a good viewpoint over the centre of the city. The spire has three times been damaged by earthquakes. After the third of these, in 1901, the stone construction was replaced with a more resilient surface of weathered copper sheeting.

Cathedral Square, locally known simply as the "Square", is the geographical centre and heart of Christchurch, New Zealand, where the city's Anglican cathedral, ChristChurch Cathedral is located. The square stands at the theoretical crossing of the city's two main orthogonal streets, Colombo Street and Worcester Street, though in practice both have been either blocked off or detoured around the square itself.

The square is the city's main meeting place for people taking a break from their work, or just visiting the city, and is a regular site of street performers and speakers of all varieties. Until recent years, the most well-known of these was The Wizard of New Zealand. Since the year 2000, The Chalice, a large piece of modern sculpture in the form of an inverted cone, has stood in the square subverting the shape of the spire that rises above the cathedral. The Chalice, designed by prominent New Zealand artist Neil Dawson, is made up of forty-two leaf patterns featuring different native plants.