Showing posts with label Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul. Show all posts

31 March 2011

Cathedral of Saint Louis in Carthage

Figure 1: Cathedral of Saint Louis in Carthage (front view).

 Figure 2: Cathedral of Saint Louis in Carthage (side view).

Figure 3: Cathedral of Saint Louis in Carthage.

"Saint Louis Cathedral (French: La cathédrale Saint-Louis de Carthage) is an old Roman Catholic cathedral located in Carthage, Tunisia.

Situated on the peak of Byrsa Hill and near the ruins of the ancient Punic and then Roman city, the cathedral is no longer used for worship but hosts concerts of Tunisian music and classical music. The only Roman Catholic cathedral operating in Tunisia is now the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis.

Built between 1884 and 1890, under the French protectorate, the cathedral acquired primacy for all of Africa when the title of primate of Africa was restored for the benefit of Cardinal Lavigerie, titular of the Archdioceses of Algiers and of Carthage, united in his person. The building was consecrated with great pomp in the presence of numerous ecclesiastical dignitaries.

Late 19th century French architecture tended to feature composite styles (as in the case of the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur in Paris, built in a Roman-Byzantine style in the same era). The building, constructed according to the plans of the abbot Pougnet, has a Byzantine-Moorish style, and is in the shape of a Latin cross of 65 meters by 30. The façade is framed by two square towers, the crossing lies beneath a large cupola surrounded by eight little steeples, and there is a smaller cupola above the apse. The church contains a nave and two aisles separated by arches passing above and the ceiling is adorned with beams that have sculpted, painted and gilt arabesques on them. The stained glass also features arabesques. The great bell weighs six tons and there is a four-bell carillon as well."

27 October 2010

Architectural styles in Tunis - Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul

The diffrent architectural styles in Tunis are most impressive.  Tunis can best be described as an architects dream.  The city appears to have it all from ancient Punic to ancient Roman, medieval Berber to medieval Islamic, French colonial, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Moorish, Gothic, Neo-Byzantine, modern Islamic and modern 21st century.  The architecture comes in clusters with layer upon layer of differing styles in various parts of the city.  The Medina appears to have some of the oldest buildings and the side streets in and around the town centre appear to have many Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings and the stretch of road between the airport and to the suburb of Gammarth tend to have mainly modern houses and buildings.

As from today, I will begin writing a series of blog posts with the aim of introducing some of the different architectural styles  here in Tunis.  So that in time, you will hopefully gain a better understanding and appreciation  for the marvellous architecture here in Tunis.

I will begin with the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis.  This is a magnificent building and one of my favourites.  Here is an extract from a link provided by Wikipedia:  "The Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Tunis. It is named in honour of Saint Vincent de Paul, a priest sold into slavery in Tunis, who after being freed took an interest in helping Christian slaves in the area. The cathedral is the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Tunis. It is situated in the Place de l'Indépendence in the Ville Nouvelle, a crossroads between Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Avenue de France, opposite the French embassy.

The church was built in a mixture of styles, including Moorish, Gothic, and Neo-Byzantine. Construction began in 1893 and the church was opened on Christmas 1897, albeit with temporary wooden belltowers owing to a shortage of funds.

Cardinal Lavigerie had laid the first stone for a church on 7 November, 1881 a little further down Avenue de la Marine (now Avenue Habib Bourguiba). This was a Pro-cathedral; the Catholic cathedral for Tunisia at that time being St Louis Cathedral in Carthage. The Pro-cathedral was built quickly, but its condition soon deteriorated due to the adverse ground conditions, necessitating the construction of the current cathedral.

The number of Roman Catholics in Tunisia fell rapidly following Tunisian independence from France. A modus vivendi reached between the Republic of Tunisia and the Vatican in 1964 resulted in the transfer of selected buildings to the Tunisian state for public use, including the Saint Louis Cathedral in Carthage. However, the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul remains under the ownership and operation of the Roman Catholic Church in Tunisia."  The full article can be found on the following link: 

Figure 1:  Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul

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