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.
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 (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 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
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
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.
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, 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.
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.
St. Michaels Orthodox Church in the Senita area of Asmara.
Seventh Day Adventist Church Asmara.