Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

LLocated in Wale Street, St George's Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Southern Africa. The church serves as a mother church of the Anglican district of Cape Town, built by Sir Herbert Baker out of sandstone from Table Mountain. The church had its name engraved in South African history books as the “People’s Cathedral” for its role in the resistance against apartheid. It kept its doors opened to people of all races throughout the apartheid era, and it was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who coined the phrase "rainbow people" to describe South Africa’s diverse population after he led a mass demonstration of 30 000 people to Grand Carnival in 1989.

It is a stunning example of the Victorian-era design with magnificent stained glass windows, a crypt, and a restaurant on site as well. The central panel of the great west window is dominated by the figure of the triumphant Christ. This Christ is black - a visual equivalent to the white Christ of Calvary that stands above the High Altar. This was done to make sure that the cathedral’s images of Christ represent the fullness of humanity.

Did You Know?
SSt George's Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in southern Africa.

DDue to its proximity to parliament, it is often a refuge and a source of inspiration for parliamentarians. St George's Cathedral is where parliament, religious leaders and members of parliament gathered for a prayer service when Nelson Mandela was hospitalised on 8 June 2013 for a recurring lung infection. It was also at the St George's Cathedral where a memorial service for the late Madiba was held and bell-ringers paid their last respects to Madiba by ringing 95 hand and 95 backstroke gongs. 

St George's Cathedral

Food
When to visit
How to get here

JJust a stone's thrown away from the “People’s Cathedral” lies a piece of the Berlin Wall that was donated to Nelson Mandela when he visited Berlin in 1996. The powerful and historically symbol of the Cold War has become an attraction for shoppers at St Georges Mall’s open-air market where it currently stands.

St George's Cathedral hosts one of the country’s few labyrinths - its stained glass windows include the work of Gabriel Loire, an accomplished French stained glass artist. This beautiful and provocative Victorian structure arouses moments of reflection and deep thought about the human condition.

Related Articles

Vibrant culture

Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

Vibrant culture
Top 10 historical sites in the Western Cape - a rich heritage

The Western Cape was the first place that Europeans settled in the country, in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck’s three vessels landed at the Cape. As employees of the Dutch East India Company, they had come to establish a halfway station for ships travelling to and from the East. Their influence is evident in the buildings, some of which are 350 years old, and culture of the Western Cape.

Vibrant culture

South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

Vibrant culture
South Africa’s top 10 cultural villages

Experience music, dance and food from across the country, as well as Tsonga crafts and Zulu beer-brewing; and don’t forget the magical clicking language of the San people.

Vibrant culture

Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

Vibrant culture
Music of South Africa - discover the rhythmic heartbeat

The music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.

Vibrant culture

Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

Vibrant culture
Ceremonies and traditions - food of South Africa

We really love eating, so join us at the table and tuck in.

Vibrant culture

11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

Vibrant culture
11 South African drinks you’ll definitely love

From soft red tea leaves and fermented milk to home-made beers and pub-favoured shooters, these are some of South Africa’s finest drinks.

Vibrant culture

Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

Vibrant culture
Shebeens – your uniquely South African local tavern experience

The first shebeens in South Africa were local bars and taverns where mostly working-class urban males could unwind, socialise, and escape the oppression of life during the Apartheid era.

Vibrant culture

Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Vibrant culture
Explore amazing organic wine farms and blankets of wildflowers

Prepare to be enchanted by whitewashed fisherman’s cottages, seasonal wildflowers, seafood fresh from the sea, and wines with complexity and conscience.

Vibrant culture

The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

Vibrant culture
The fascinating story behind the birth of gumboot dancing

Gumboot dancing was originally a means of communication amongst miners who were forbidden from talking to one another.

Vibrant culture

Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

Vibrant culture
Art and science - The Cape Town Museum and Planetarium

A walk up the beautiful Company’s Garden, at the top of Cape Town, takes you to the South African Museum.

Vibrant culture

The Iziko Slave Lodge sheds light on the history of slavery in South Africa

Vibrant culture
The Iziko Slave Lodge sheds light on the history of slavery in South Africa

The Iziko Slave Lodge tells a story of slaves who were captured in South East Asia and brought to the Cape by the Dutch East India Company.

Vibrant culture

Footsteps to Freedom - Discover the heart of Cape Town with a walking tour

Vibrant culture
Footsteps to Freedom - Discover the heart of Cape Town with a walking tour

Footsteps to Freedom will take you on a walking tour of all the great struggle sites in Cape Town.

Vibrant culture

Bishopscourt - A piece of heaven

Vibrant culture
Bishopscourt - A piece of heaven

Bishopscourt is a spellbinding residential suburb that boasts a rich history, lush valleys, oak-lined trees and pristine homes.

Vibrant culture

Groote Schuur Building - The house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Vibrant culture
Groote Schuur Building - The house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

Vibrant culture

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

Vibrant culture
Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

The Mandela Rhodes Building was built in 1903 and now houses the headquarters for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

Vibrant culture

Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

Vibrant culture
Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

There’s much more to Stellenbosch than wine. The town is also an arts primer, boasting the Mandela Memorial Square among other artworks.

Vibrant culture

Cape Town City Hall – a grand old building

Vibrant culture
Cape Town City Hall – a grand old building

Cape Town City Hall is indeed a grand old building.

Vibrant culture

Houses of Parliament – the heart of Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Houses of Parliament – the heart of Cape Town

Houses of Parliament – the heart of Cape Town

Vibrant culture

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Vibrant culture
Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Vibrant culture

Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

At the V&A Waterfront, visitors can view the ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, which has a remarkable story to tell about the early occupation of the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. But the battery also has much more to offer the visitor ...

Vibrant culture

Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Vibrant culture
Nobel Square - A tribute to great men

Tribute to great men Nobel Square, Cape Town

Vibrant culture

18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Vibrant culture
18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

With Nelson Mandela's passing, he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and the remarkable achievement of bringing peace to a deeply divided country.

Vibrant culture

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Vibrant culture
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art (Zeitz MOCAA)

Vibrant culture

It’s all about Malay for a day in Cape Town!

Vibrant culture
It’s all about Malay for a day in Cape Town!

Cape Malay Heritage Tours are a great way for culturally-minded travellers to experience one of the Western Cape’s oldest and most distinctive societies.

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy