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St Mary's Cathedral

Windhoek | Namibia

One of the most easily recognisable landmarks in Namibia's capital city Windhoek, is the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Its appearance brought about its proclamation as a national monument and the official proclamation text reads:

'The twin tower cathedral, with its neo-Renaissance features, is of particular architectural importance. The façade of this right-angled building is particularly impressing with its high peak towers on both sides of the central part with its three arched entrances. The rustic work of brown stone is also striking'.

At the turn of the 20th century, Roman Catholic church services in Windhoek were held in a wooden chapel with a canvas roof. A cornerstone for a church for 1 tower was laid in March 1903 and in 1931 due to a growing congregation it was extended. The nave was lengthened eastwards and the twin towers added. St Mary's Cathedral was consecrated on 24th April 1932.

In 1971 a further extension took place. The nave was lengthened towards the west. New choir stalls were built, a new chancel was installed with locally made stained-glass windows in Windhoek. Other windows of lead and stained-glass were manufactured in Munich. The floor of the new chancel was made of stone quarried in Namibia. The altar and some of the chairs in the chancel were made from Karibib granite. Many other improvements were made, including further renovations in 1993/4.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Windhoek was proclaimed a national monument on 15th June 1983.

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