Holy Family Minor Basilica Cathedral The 1st Stone Building In Nairobi – Kenya

Written by on February 13, 2022

Today’s tale takes us to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, which was known as the swampy lands back in the 1800s before the city’s development started during and after the completion of the railway line. We are looking at the Holy Family Minor Basilica cathedral, the Headquarters of the Catholic church in Kenya, and also the first stone building in Nairobi.

Catholic church missionaries took advantage of the increasing number of settlers as a result of the railway construction and created a space that would fulfill their spiritual needs.

The Holy Ghost Fathers of the Holy Ghost missionaries had a stone building with over 300 sitting capacities which later increased ten times more when the church was reconstructed in the 40s and 50s at the height of the liberation struggle, which caused interruptions nonetheless it was completed.

The current church building was designed by the first female East African Architect, Dorothy Hughes, it stands at 98 feet tall with eight different chapels and a huge cross that cannot be missed when in the city’s vicinity.

Church interior

Church exterior

Pope John the second visited the cathedral three times, however, he designated it as a basilica during his visit in 1980.

The first baptism was documented in 1906, two years after the establishment of the first church building. The first marriage was conducted in 1908, while the first group of Christians was confirmed in 1923.

The Holy Ghost Fathers ran the church up until 1991, the cathedral operates throughout the week.

The next time you are visiting Nairobi, make a point to visit, marvel at its amazing architecture, and say a prayer too.

Photo: Wikimedia 


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