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Cathedral de Sacré Coeur

This is one site - that is, as far as I know, not mentioned in any travel book - but for me it is a very astonishing place: The Cathedral de Sacré Coeur in Oran (Algeria). During the French occupation in Algeria the authorities turned the Islamic state bit by bit into a Christian copy of France.

This is one site – that is, as far as I know, not mentioned in any travel book – but for me it is a very astonishing place: The Cathedral de Sacré Coeur in Oran (Algeria). During the French occupation in Algeria the authorities turned the Islamic state bit by bit into a Christian copy of France.

Therefore they built churches and one of the most impressive ones is this very cathedral in Algeria’s second biggest city. Nonetheless, the architectonical style is very much influenced by the Moors and the Ottomans. From the outside it certainly looks a bit like a mosque and with a few palms aside the picture is perfect. It is almost 80 metres long, but it doesn’t have a long history of services. The cathedral was opened in 1903 and ran only until 1962, when Algeria reached total independence from France. Adjacently the number of Catholics declined:
In the whole Region of Oran had been 355.000 catholics in 1950. In The Nineties remained 7000, but now there only 400 left! Yeah it’s not a piece of cake being Christian in an area, which is dominated by Muslim culture.
But history is an organic structure and from something old something new evolves.

So now the temple of God is the temple of books. It is a public library and this is really amazing. Within the Interior of the cathedral with all its benches, the pulpit, the altar and the neatly coloured windows are now students, who study. In some way this tranquilly way of reading pays the final respect and farewell to the religious aura of the church. Even doves fly and rest within the thick walls and have a great time pooping down from the roof. So there is something in for everyone!

http://www.visitoran.com/city/attractions.asp?id=cathedrale

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bistum_Oran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oran

http://orgue.algerie.free.fr/pages%20orgues/DZA%20OUEST/Oran%20sacre%20coeur.htm

written by wil6ka

1 comment

  1. jelga

    jelga

    i was there! i quite liked the idea of the cathedral being turned into a library instead of letting it go derelict or (unimaginatively) just turning it into another mosque....
    there was something poetic about the whole place and the whole idea...;)

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam

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