Most churches are unique in their own way and it most often than not depict incredible beauty in architecture. A church is a place of worship for Christians.
Most Christian places of worship, especially the old ones exhibit impressive mastery in architecture and have historical significance.
Christianity first arrived in North Africa in the 1st AD before spreading to the rest of Africa nations. The Christian community in North Africa were among the earliest Christians in the world.
Its no wonder surprising that the most unique and stunning churches are found in North Africa which is now predominantly Muslim region.
1. Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Costing between US$175 – 600 million,The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace or in French Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix was constructed from 1985 to 1989.
The design was inspired by the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City. It is, by many accounts, the world’s largest church and was also listed in the Guinness World Records.
2. Dutch Reformed Church (Grotekerk), Graaff-Reinet, South Africa
This stunning Dutch Reformed Church is in the Eastern Cape Province city of Graaff-Reinet. On the 12th April 1886 the foundation stone was laid for the fourth and existing church which is Gothic Revival and based on the lines of Salisbury Cathedral in England with the inaugural sermon delivered on the 11th September 1887.
The stone for this church was obtained locally and the church which can seat 1,250 and has a steeple of 45, 72 metres boasts a chimney, an unusual feature for a church. The church is one of the historic landmarks in Graaff Reinet.
Dutch Reformed Church (Grotekerk), Graaff-Reinet, South Africa
3. National Church of Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria
The National Ecumenical Centre also known as the National Christian Centre is a Christian place of worship located in the capital city Abuja. The neo-gothic style church was designed by Darchiwork Group a Nigerian architectural firm. Although construction started in 1989, the projected was completed in 2005.
4. Dutch Reformed Church – Hanover, South Africa
This intriguing model of the Dutch Reformed Church is in Hanover, a small town in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The nucleus of the town is the Dutch Reformed Church.
5. Saint Antonio Catholic Church “Lemon Squeezer” – Maputo, Mozambique
The Santo Antonio Da Polana (Saint Antonio) Catholic church is located in the Polana District of Maputo. This stunning architecture was built in 1962 and restored in 1992. It has the shape of an inverted flower, and is popularly known as the “Lemon Squeezer”.
6. Dutch Reformed Church – Swellendam, South Africa
Another stunning Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. The Dutch Reformed Church in Swellendam is the second church on the site and dates from 1910. The church is in a prominent site on the main street, next to Church Square.
7. Christ Church – Windhoek, Namibia
One of Namibia’s historic landmark. Christ Church in Windhoek was dedicated as the Church of Peace in 1910 after the wars between the Germans and the Khoikhoi, Herero, and Ovambo.
8. New Church of St. Mary of Zion – Tigray, Ethiopia
Located in the town of Axum in the Tigray Province. The new church was built by Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1950s. Although the present building is relatively new, the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion has impressively ancient roots.
9. Casablanca Cathedral (Sacred Heart of Jesus) – Casablanca, Morocco
Designed by French architect Paul Tournon, the former Roman Catholic church located in Casablanca was built in 1930. Commonly called a cathedral although it has never had a bishop. After the independence of Morocco in 1956 it ceased serving as a religious place and became a cultural centre which is open to tourists. The church is regarded as one of the most “breathtaking” 20th century architecture in Africa.
10. Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral – Aswan, Egypt
It is largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East. The Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches. Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Aswan consecrated in 2006. The cathedral is named after St. Mark the Evangelist, an apostle of Jesus and founder of the Coptic Church.