In contrary to the popular belief, Christianity existed in Africa long before the Western invasion in other parts of the continent where it was re-introduced to the indigenous people. The arrival of the westerners in Africa made the religion very popular.
While there are more spectacular churches cropping up on the continent, there remain a few old ones that still manage to be more breathtaking than modern ones.
In no particular order, here are 7 historical church buildings in Africa that are still a sight to behold.
Casablanca Cathedral (Sacred Heart of Jesus) – Casablanca, Morocco.
The Casablanca church was constructed in 1930. The cathedral ceased its religious function in 1956 after the independence of Morocco. Today the church remains as one of the most beautiful churches in Africa despite not being in use. The place is still well kept for people who choose to visit.
Saint Joseph’s Cathedral – Eritrea
Often called “the cathedral”, it is a large Lombard Romanesque style church in the centre of the city, built in 1921 and completed in 1923 to serve as the principal church of the Apostolic Vicariate of Eritrea. The church has an appealing feel that keeps one engrossed in the breathtaking architecture.
Saint Antonio Catholic Church, Mozambique
For its unique architectural design, the Saint Antonio Catholic Church remains one of Africa’s most beautiful church buildings. Its beauty is more elaborate on the inside with well executed interior design. Popularly known as the Lemon Squeezer, the inspiration behind this one of a kind church building was an inverted flower when it was built in 1962.
Notre-Dame d’Afrique – Algeria
Also known as Our Lady of Africa Church, it took a good fourteen years to finish the construction of this huge and breathtaking church building in Algeria. The spectacular basilica can be located in North of Algiers in Algeria. The church sits pretty on a cliff overlooking the Bay of Algiers.
Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral – Aswan, Egypt
This is one of the largest and newest churches in Egypt built to instill a sense of pride and devotion among the small Christian group that the country of Egypt has. The church boast of a spectacular view and woodwork.
Dutch Reform Church – South Africa
Inspired by churches in England, the Dutch Reform church has a chimney, a tower of 45.6 meters and can seat 1,250 people. It was opened in 1787 after a year of construction. The breathtaking building, almost like a castle is one of South Africa’s historic building and can be visited by tourists. The church has over a million members.
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro – Côte d’Ivoire
Modelled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro is the world’s largest church that took 5 years to construct from 1985 to 1990. The church cost close to 600 million dollars to build and remains one of Côte d’Ivoire’s pride.