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

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African architectural tours: explore the urban design that built a nation

South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.

South African cultural museums: rich traditions and history all over

South African cultural museums: rich traditions and history all over

South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.

Nobel Square, Cape Town: South African history makers on the waterfront in Western Cape

Nobel Square, Cape Town: South African history makers on the waterfront in Western Cape

Nobel Square at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront honours Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu and Alfred Luthuli – the 4 South Africans who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Historic places of worship in South Africa: cathedrals, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples catering to religious diversity

Historic places of worship in South Africa: cathedrals, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples catering to religious diversity

South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.

Colourful culture – Xhosa beadwork

Colourful culture – Xhosa beadwork

Xhosa beadwork carries special cultural significance and can be seen and purchased in several places around South Africa.

Wire art – the perfect souvenir

Wire art – the perfect souvenir

A unique piece of local wire art is the perfect way to take some of South Africa’s vibrant culture home.

An award-winning incentive destination – Western Cape incentives

An award-winning incentive destination – Western Cape incentives

The Western Cape offers a rich floral kingdom, pristine beaches, a globally renowned wine industry, award-winning restaurants and a unique history and heritage.

Western Cape highlights

Western Cape highlights

Western Cape highlights include Table Mountain, Robben Island, the West Coast and Whale Coast, the Cape winelands, the Karoo and the verdant Garden Route.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2020 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy