The story of the cathedral, the seat of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Town, is closely associated with the history and development of the Roman Catholic Church in Southern Africa, which occurred over a period of more than 175 years. Affectionately known by many as St Mary’s Cathedral, it is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in South Africa.
The local bishop bought the land in 1839 and the first stone was laid two years later. Build in the Gothic Revival style design of Otto Hagger, the building was consecrated on April 28, 1851. A tower was added in 1926 and the sanctuary was remodeled in 1947. The latest restoration was done in 1997.
The Cathedral is situated in the heart of the City of Cape Town, directly opposite the South African Parliament and at the meeting point of an important thoroughfare linking Cape Town to its outlying suburbs. The Cathedral also occupies a central position as the ‘Mother Church’ both of the Archdiocese and of the rest of South Africa.
For more images of Early Cape Town, take a look in the gallery.
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