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St. Paul’s Cathedral - Abidjan Explore Challenge

This post is a part of a week-long Explore Abidjan challenge where my roommate and I aimed to go to all of the local places on our bucket list. Because we were fasting in observance of Ramadan, most of these visits were short and sweet, but all of the places have a lot to offer!

St. Paul’s Cathedral is probably one of the most iconic buildings in Abidjan. As you drive in or past Plateau, it dominates the skyline, a vibrant, shining cross with open arms. I have always found it beautiful, but in the same way I’ve never visited the Statue of Liberty as a native New Yorker, I hadn’t taken the 10-minute taxi ride to visit the cathedral until now.

The cross is huge in person and surrounded by gorgeous green grounds. When you walk in front of and around it, there are small gardens and flowering trees nearby. On the outer face of the cathedral, there is a verse from Romans 12:1.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."

Unlike the basilica, there didn’t seem to be guided tours at the cathedral itself, though I’m sure you could find a local tour guide to take you there. Like many places of worship, there were worshippers there silently practicing. There is no fee to enter and explore, just be cognizant of people praying!

The interior, of course, had vibrant stained glass deceptions of biblical stories, along with ceramic artwork on the walls. I enjoyed simply sitting in an empty pew and silently soaking it all in. As we left, it seemed like a service was about to start and we saw more people entering the space. All in all, we spent maybe 45 minutes there. I found it to be an incredible time to sit and think, especially considering that it was Ramadan, a time I consider to be of great reflection. While I enjoy my busy life in Abidjan, it is so rare that I can be in such a large and beautiful space and be allowed to keep to myself. I really enjoyed my visit and highly recommend it.

Note: my roommate and I paired it with going to The Grand Mosque of Plateau, which I would recommend. Visit those two places, maybe even a third, and grab a bite to eat in Plateau

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