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Haiti: Cap-Haïtien cathedral

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Cap-Haïtien cathedral | Haiti | Americas

[Visited: July 2007]

Shortly after arriving in Cap-Haïtien, we were deposited at the central square, on which side we immediately saw the cathedral. Where other streets in Cap-Haïtien are run down, messy and sometimes filthy, the main square, or Cathedral square, looked very well kept. It is clean, and in the middle you can find some welcome shade under one of the planted palm trees. Otherwise, you can also find a statue of Mackandal, perhaps the most famous leader of the Maroons, black slaves who escaped from the plantations and survived in the Haitian hinterland. He was executed on this very square in 1758.

Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Cathedral of Cap-Haïtien seen from the Cathedral Square

After the successful revolution and achieving independence in 1804, it took several decades for Haiti to establish a Catholic hierarchy again. The second half of the 19th century saw the preparation of the building of a new Cathedral, which was finished at the beginning of the 20th century. This Cathedral of Notre Dame is arguably the most beautiful of the country, and almost looks out of place in the context of an otherwise more run-down town. We never saw the main entrance open, and when we finally visited the cathedral, we entered through a door in the right-hand side.

Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Statue and stained glass window in Cap-Haïtien cathedral

It offered some welcome shade, and a quiet atmosphere as it was almost empty. The interior looked pretty simple, well maintained walls, coloured glass, the inevitable statues, and a blue and white cupola high above us. For some time, a guard followed us, but as soon as we had donated some money, he happily disappeared and let us explore the cathedral alone. Although Haiti is famous for voodoo, this cathedral, as well as the many churches around the country, show that that certainly is not the only religion. The Cathedral of Our Lady is proof of this.

Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Blue and white cupola of the cathedral of Cap-Haïtien
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Cupola of the cathedral of Cap-Haïtien
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Interior of Cap-Haïtien cathedral
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Stained glass window in the Cap-Haïtien cathedral
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): View of the interior of the Cap-Haïtien cathedral from the main entrance
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Looking outside through a window of the Cap-Haïtien cathedral
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Cap-Haïtien cathedral: stained glass windows
Picture of Cap-Haïtien cathedral (Haiti): Rules for visitors of Cap-Haïtien cathedral

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