Scared Heart Cathedral

Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of Australia’s largest churches and the third tallest after St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. It is exceptionally large for a provincial city cathedral in Australia and its construction was made possible chiefly through the estate of Henry Backhaus (1811-1882), a German from Paderborn and the first Catholic priest on the Bendigo goldfields. Backhaus was very skilled in financial matters and accumulated considerable property – not least through encouraging his gold-mining parishioners to contribute some of their finds to the work of the church. Backhaus left his wealth for the benefit of the church and enabled the cathedral, among other things, to be built.