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Religious sites of Asmara (1)

 

Asmara's very diverse cultural heritage is obvious: three of the most prominent landmarks in the city are the Catholic Cathedral, the Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque and the Nda Mariam Coptic Cathedral.

In a world characterized by religious conflict, Christians, Muslims and others have lived peacefully together in Asmara for centuries.

 

Roman Catholic Cathedral  - Asmara - Eritrea

The cathedral of Asmara was build in 1922 in the Lombard-Roma-
nesque style. Its tall Gothic bell tower is visible from everywhere in
the city and is a useful landmark if you ever lose your sense of di-
rection. The cathedral, as well as the primary school, the monaste-
ry and the nunnery, are in the same compound and can be visited.

It is also possible to climb the 52 meter tower of the cathe-
dral (guided tour) to enjoy a view over Asmara. The climbing is
the most spectacular at the whole hours when the bells sound.

Roman Catholic Cathedral  - Asmara - Eritrea

Details of the Cathedral compound: (a) interior (b) main entrance
(c) stairs to the bell tower (d) Maria statue in monastery garden.

Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque - Peace Street - Asmara

Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin (Followers of the Right Path) on Peace Street
(near the covered markets), was built in 1938 from Dekemhare tra-
vertine and Carrara marble. There is a square in front of the mosque
paved with blocks of dark stone arranged in geometrical patterns.

Nda Mariam Orthodox Church - Asmara - Eritrea

Nda Mariam Othodox church - Asmara

Nda Mariam, Asmara's Orthodox Cathedral is dedicated to St. Mary.
The main building is composed of three massive elements, slightly up the hill, which makes it another useful landmark in Asmara.

To the left and the right of the main body there are two soaring towers, each supporting a white construction which contain the church bells. On top of these structures, cylinder shaped brickwork supports a concrete tukul.

Above the two wooden doors, which have frames of red ceramic tesserae, there is an impressive mosaic structure showing religious scenes done by the Italian painter Nenne Sanguineti Poggi, on request of the clergy, in the 1950s. She is also the creator of several mosaics and frescos around Asmara -- see the ones on the front of the old "Liceo" School, those at the Agasien school, and the mosaics in the tabernacle of the Church to St. Mary in Axum.

In front of the church are traditional stones which were used as bells.

Inside the church, you will find lovely murals of the apostles, scenes from the life of Christ and stories from the Old and New Testament. The saint's name is celebrated each month by the church congregation, and once a year in a festival.

 

Nda Mariam Orthodox Church - Asmara - Eritrea

Details of the Enda Mariam compound: (a) mosaic structure
(b) traditional stones used as bells (c) painting above one of the
side entrances (d) main entrance to the Enda Mariam compound.

Kidane Meheret - Oriental Christian Church - Asmara - Eritrea

Kidane Meheret, principal church of Oriental Christian rite. It has beau-
tiful frescoed walls which feature the Madonna of Perpetual Help and
the nine monks that christianized the highlands of Eritrea, painted in
Italy by a Cappuccino brother. It is situated behind the central market.

Synagogue - Asmara - Eritrea

The Synagogue of Asmara was built in 1906. It is a beautiful, serene
building just off the main street. The wooden cornices and fittings
are hand carved and the scrolls of the Torah are hand written.

Mar Bin Abdulaziz Mosque - Gaza Banda - Asmara - Eritrea

Mar Bin Abdulaziz Mosque - Gaza Banda, Asmara.

St. Michaels Orthodox Church - Asmara - Eritrea

St. Michaels Orthodox Church in the Senita area of Asmara.

Seventh Day Adventist Church - Asmara - Eritrea

Seventh Day Adventist Church Asmara.

 

 
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