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Churches in AngolaThe Angolan Episcopal Conference marks the year of 1491 as that on which the first missionaries arrived to the Angolan territory. In first contacts, the missionaries learned they had found people of great religiosity.
In the book "The Church in Angola" by Lawrence w. Henderson, an American missionary who worked in Angola between 1948 to 1969 we can read that the deployment of Christianity in Angola was not always a taste of good riddance.
Sumbe's Church (by Filomena Barata) | Huambo Church (by Evandro Rodrigues) | Kulumbimbi Church
Lawrence writes that the Portuguese civil war, between absolutists and Liberals that followed the withdrawal of the troops of Napoleon and the Spanish, had repercussions in the efforts of Angola christianisation. Certain is that after several centuries of European presence on the African continent the Catholic religion turned out to establish consistently across several countries and Angola is no exception to this rule.
This page intends to focus in churches in Angola that somehow stand out and will be updated regularly.
Church of Our Lady of Muxima (facade and interior)
In the province of Bengo the prominence naturally goes to the Church Our Lady of Muxima. Built between 1641-1648 is a national monument since 1924. It houses the Shrine of Our Lady of Muxima and receives thousands of pilgrims, particularly in September, on the feast of Our Lady of Muxima.
Our Lady of Populo Church (by viajarangola) | Benguela Cathedral (by Filipe Brandão) | Church in Benguela (by Pedro Cardoso)
There are several Churches in Benguela, where we highlight the Church of Our Lady of Populo, with its baroque style was classified as a national monument. The building features a nave, two aisles and chancel and chapel, two towers, baptistery and chorus. The restoration was done in 1748, and have stained glass window. Indoor balustrade and pulpit of Brazil wood carved Rococo style, the only one in Angola.
We can also find the Cathedral of Benguela (Church of Our Lady of Fatima), which replaced in 1963 the old church with the same name. In 2009 the church received the stained glass that the model exhibited for over four decades.
In 1957 was built the Church of Our Lady of The Mariners. This simple chapel serves as a backdrop to the popular festivities in honour of the patron saint of the city, taking place on May 17. At the location of the Cavaco, 3 km from the city of Benguela, is the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace, with festivities at 7 and 8 December. We advice also a visit to the Church of Our Lady of Nazareth, Nazarene Mission, dated 1956. We must not forget the Church of Catumbela High, a small church built on top of a granite rock at the top of the Catumbela High.
Saint Tiago's Church | Tchiowa Church | Church in Cabinda (by Elmano Cunha e Costa)
Cabinda is marked by a strong religious belief. In the province we can find the ruins of the old Episcopal Cathedral of XVI century, the Church of Landana (21st century), the Church of Our Lady Queen of the World, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tchiowa Church, Mboca Church and Saint Anthony's Church. But there is no doubt that one of the points of greatest interest of the religious province of Cabinda is the St. Tiago Church, located the top of the Hill dominating the village of Landana. The Mission of the same name (Landana), was the first to be founded by the Holy Spirit missionaries in Angola, in 1873. Of gothic revival architecture drawing, was classified as "property of public interest" by the colonial administration.
Our Lady of The Hill Church(by Nelson Silvestre) | Our Lady of The Hill Church (by Isaura Lourenço) | St. Anthony's Church (by Monteiro)
Our Lady of the Hill was one of the first churches rebuilt in Huambo province. Dating back to 1924, was built in this high, considering that Christians would rather pray in higher locations to be closer to god.
We also highlight the St. Anthony Church, which translates the transitional phase of 20th century religious architecture in Portugal, between the traditionalists and modern forms, recalling the formal solution of the Church of Póvoa de Santa Iria (outskirts of Lisbon), his contemporary.
Lady of the Hill Chapel | Lady of the Hill Monument | Lubango Cathedral
In Huíla province, more specifically in Lubango, in terms of religious architecture is there to mention the Cathedral situated in the Lubango centre and which dates from 1939 and the Church Mission of Huila, dating from 1880, one of the oldest in the province. Also the Tchivinguiro Church of 1892 and the Church of Quihita from 1894.
Lubango also hosts the Lady of the Hill Chapel. Built in the park with the same name, was designed in 1962 by José Frederico, to assist the need to accommodate an increasing number of believers who traveled on a pilgrimage to the chapel.
The remote Church of Mission of Caconda - Church and Catholic mission - is within five kilometres of the primitive Caconda village and exemplifies the idea of mission as influential centre and almost self sufficient.
Camabatela Church (by Alexandre Correia) | Our Lady of Victory Church (by João Matos) | Our Lady of Victory Church (renewed)
In the province of North Kwanza we can find Our Lady of Victory Church. Among several churches and chapels, whose respective brotherhoods served the locals free and slave, the highligh goes to the mother church, rock solid, covered by tiles. It was rich in ornaments and possessed a famous custody and good images. Received several facelifts, the latter of which in 1938, rising to even today in its rectangular plan, supported externally by powerful buttresses and with an imposing Bell Tower. It would have been buried the first Governor of Angola, in 1589. Rebuilt in the 17th century, is a national monument since 1923.
Highlight also to the Church of Camabatela, which was constructed under the leadership of Fr. Samuel de Chiupano and inaugurated in January 23, 1961 by Archbishop Moisés Alves de Pinho.
Sumbe's Church | Porto Amboim Church (by João Matos) | Wako Cungo's Church
The Church of Santa Comba, name replaced by Cela and subsequently Waco Kungo, in South Kwanza province, is almost a faithful copy of the Portuguese Santa Comba Dão Church, built 200 years earlier. Despite the severe damage caused by the civil war in the penthouse and the facades, the building has been properly recovered.
In South Kwanza we still could find Sumbes’s Church and the Church of Porto Amboim.
Jesus Church | Our Lady of the Remedies Church | Our Lady of the Cape Church
Being Luanda the capital of Angola is natural that has immense churches scattered throughout the city. All out of them we highlight seven historic churches.
Our Lady of the Cape Church - Founded in 1575/1669. The small church of the island was dedicated to our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. When the Portuguese regained the territory lost to the Dutch in 1648, was erected at the same location, a new Church, but much larger. The works just finished in 1669. The Church was called Our Lady of the Cape.
Our Lady of Conception Church - Founded in 1583/1590. Began to be built in 1583, made of mud, plaster, wooden pillars and with a thatched roof. In 1653, the parish priest, suggested to build a more worthy church. So this church became the Cathedral, something which lasted until 1818, when the honorable title of Cathedral passed to the Church of Saint Joseph convent. From this second church, built in 1653, it remains only a tower, which is why the site has been transformed, in 1881, for the Meteorological Observatory João Capelo.
Mercy Church - Founded in 1621/1624. The Queen Leonor of Portugal ordered the construction of the Mercy Church and of a hospital to treat military and civilian patients, that has gone from 1621 to 1624.
The works took place in the location known today as thr upper town and only ended in 1679. After having gone through a period of degradation, the Church has recently been restored and is used for cultural events.
Jesus Church - Founded in 1612/1636. It is believed that the Jesus Church was born in 1612. The style is Baroque and the Church was considered at the time "the grandest structure in the southern hemisphere".
With the Dutch occupation in 1641, the Church served as a Parliament and Government Council. With the reconquest by the Portuguese in 1648, became a Church again. In 1953 the reconstruction started and in 1958, was reopened. In 1978, became the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Luanda.
Carmo's Church | Our Lady of Conception Church | Our Lady of Nazareth Church
Our Lady of Nazareth Church - Founded in 1664/1965. The small church of Our Lady of Nazareth was built in 1664, almost on the water. The facade was in front of the Bay and to the Church of Our Lady of the Cape.
In 1922 the Church was regarded as a national monument. It is a replica of the Our Lady of Nazareth, a picturesque fisherman's Beach in Portugal, full of tiles that tell stories and miracles. Inside there is a black image of Santa Iphigenia of Ethiopia. Today is the Church of the parish and a shrine. Has been restored recently.
Church of Our Lady of the Remedies - Founded in 1655/1679. This church was built to replace the two small chapels that existed in the same place: the Holy Spirit and the Holy body. In the ruins of two buildings, this church downtown, solemnly blessed by Bishop Manuel da Natividade, in 1679. This is where depart the solemn processions and the Body of Christ celebration, to the main streets of the city.
The church went through a phase of decadence: closed in 1876 and, shortly after, the roof collapsed. The restoration lasted until 1897. Here lie the remains of the first Archbishop of Luanda and the last Angola/Congo Bishop.
Carmo's Church – Founded in 1660/1689. The Church belongs to the convent of the order of the Carmelites, reformed in the late 16th century by St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. The members of the order of Carmelites arrived in 1659, and had moved shortly after to the outskirts of the city (today Ingombota), where they acquired two houses designed to serve as a convent. The works began in 1660 and only ended in 1689.
As the Church was commissioned by the Queen, the exterior of the building brings his Crown. Inside there is a wide staircase, so that women in long dresses could climb to the first counter. In 1828, the Carmo Church was in ruins. Has been restored and is now maintained by Dominican priests, in an environment of peace and quiet.
NORTH LUNDA and SOUTH LUNDA
Nzagi Church (by Conde de Lumo) | Saurimo Cathedral (front view) | Saurimo Cathedral (park view)
In North Lunda we can find the beautiful Nzagi Church.
In the South Lunda province we can visit the Cathedral of the Saurimo Diocese also known as Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, built at the end of the year 1958 and begin of 1959. The construction materials were provided by subsidies of the diocese, the district, the State and the Diamang. Still in Saurimo we can find the religious monument in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes.
MALANJE and MOXICO
Malanje Cathedral (by Fernando Fernandes) | Luena Cathedral (outside view) | Luena Cathedral (interior)
Malanje hosts the parochial Church of Our Lady of Assumption (Cathedral), which began to be built in 1862, and was never completed. Was left to ruins by neglect and by fire in 1890. In the early 1920 it was rebuilt and inaugurated in 1929. In 1957 it was elevated to Cathedral of brand new diocese of Malanje. Presents a traditionalist architectural expression, with two towers flanking the façade in H, being the central body covered by curved pediment.
The capital of the province of Moxico, Luena, is the home of the Luena Cathedral, a work with gothic design. The Church was registered in the diocese of Luso in 1963, and renamed after independence in the diocese of Luena in 1979.
Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (Namibe) | Church in Namibe | St. Adrian's Church
Namibe is a centre of religious activity. There you can visit the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Church of St. Adrian, Amelia Beach Chapel, the Chapel of Quipola and Our Lady in The World Church in the Bibala village.
UIGE and ZAIRE
St. Joseph's Church (by CITAngola) | St. Rita of Cassia Sactuary | Kulumbimbi's Cathedral (by João Mavinga)
In Uíge province along the rocks of Encoje, and dated back to the 18th century, is the Church of St. Joseph. It is also in this province that we can visit the Sanctuary of Santa Rita of Cassia, currently the largest sanctuary in Angola, inaugurated in April 2013.
In Mbanza Congo figure one of the greatest cultural assets of Zaire province - the Church, now Cathedral, of Kulumbimbi. The construction of the Church of Kulumbimbi were executed between May 6 and July 6, 1491. The ruins have aroused the interest of domestic and foreign experts, by the rarity of its architectural aspect. Angolans claim to be the oldest church of sub-saharan Africa. It was elevated to the status of Cathedral in 1596. Pope John Paul II visited the Cathedral in 1992.