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Navrongo Catholic Cathedral (#)

Date of Submission: 17/01/2000
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ghana Museums and Monuments Board Government of the Republic of Ghana
Coordinates: Navrongo, Upper East Region
Ref.: 1393

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The Navrongo Catholic Mission was established in Navrongo in 1906 by 13 French Fathers with the construction of 4 huts, one of them being the chapel. In 1910, a much larger chapel was constructed but it became too small and not as prestigious as expected by the Fathers. They managed to convince their hierarchy and raised sufficient funding to build what remained for very long the most impressive building in the area. Entirely built of mud bricks, and pastered with mud mortar, the Cathedral is 60m long, 14m wide and its bell tower is 13m high. Originally the roof was flat, following the local pattern, but it was later replaced with a pitched corrugated iron sheet roof (1928). The floor is made of the traditional compacted gravel, mixed with cowdung and dawa-dawa. The large interior is divided along its length by two rows of columns into a nave and two sided aisles, the nave being approximately two and a half times the width of the aisles. The highest point of the pitched roof rests at approximately 7400 mm going down to approximately 5400mm at eaves level. Of the ten columns on either side, the last two at each end appear to grow out from the walls, their junction so smooth and rounded, highlighting the mouldable qualities of mud. Between each pair of columns lies either a window or a door opening, except for the last two openings on either side, which open into the Sacristy. At the extreme end of the building, off the nave, are two small arches, one leading to the baptistry, the other to the stair tower and each one lighted by large openings. Those are situated under two lateral small towers, separated by the central bell tower constructed over the entrance porch. Even though maintenance works and repairs have been done, the Cathedral has not changed very much.