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St. Lucia’s Cathedral

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Initially this cathedral was a small chapel of wood and Cadjan, said to have been built by the Oratorian Fathers in the year 1760 during the Dutch rule of old Ceylon. In 1782, this church was rebuilt with brick and mortar under the guidance of Fr. Nicholas Rodriguez and Fr. Cosmo Antonio. Rev. Fr. Vincenti Rosario was appointed the first Vicar-Apostolic of Ceylon and this cathedral became the first ever cathedral of the country. A plan was made in 1872, to build a new cathedral which took roughly 30 years and was fully completed in the year 1902.

Built in medieval architecture, this structure has an extraordinary appearance with seven big statues crowning the top and large columns at the front. The cross rests atop the pinnacle of the dome. The interior consists of large statues of saints, sculptured and painted with intricate details. In front of the sanctuary, towards the left, one can see dark skinned statue of the Madonna referred to as ‘Our Lady of Kotahena’. Rising above the main altar is a statue of Saint Lucy. In a corner of the church there is a circular Baptismal Font crowned by a statue of John the Baptist. ‘Anthony Thomas’, a 4300 lbs bell with detailed engravings of holy figures, symbols of Christianity and wreaths of flowers, is found here. This bell is the largest out of four bells shipped from Marseilles and was christened in the year 1903. The beautiful expansive inner area has a capacity to house thousands of people.

Highlights

  • This cathedral was the first ever cathedral built in the country dedicated to Saint Lucia of Sicily.
  • It took around 30 years to build and was finished in 1902.
  • It was built with ornate medieval architecture that dates back to the 18th century.
  • The exterior carries beautiful seven statues that stand on top and bears large long columns.
  • The stunning interiors have intricate details painted inside and large statues of saints.
  • The famous bell named ‘Anthony Thomas’ which weighs 4300lbs which was shipped from Marseille, France can be found here.
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