St. Lucia’s Cathedral

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Located in Kotahena, towards the north east of Colombo, St. Lucia’s Cathedral is one of the architectural masterpieces in Sri Lanka. Consecrated in 1881 the cathedral is the largest parish cathedral in the island, with a seating capacity for 6000 worshippers. The roots of the cathedral dates back to the Duth era in Sri Lanka.

In 1779 during the Dutch era, the Catholic community in Colombo was granted a ten acre land to build a church by the Dutch government. However before that there used to be a small rustic church built by the Oratorian Fathers in 1760, although rumour suggests that it must have been even older. A project was initiated to build a larger church in 1782, under the guidance of Fr. Nicholas Rodriguez and Fr. Cosmo Antonio.

In 1820 under the British rule the church became the principal Catholic church of Colombo, and in 1838 the church was lifted to cathedral status. In 1872, the church was in the danger of collapse and plans were initiated to fund and build the current structure. Having gone through many hard years by 1885 the main constructions were completed, however the records say it was in 1902 when the work was formally completed and the scaffolds were removed.

The front facade of the cathedral rests on six massive ionic columns, and is decorated with seven statues on the top. The pinnacle of the cathedral contains a cross on a concrete lantern. Along the side aisles of the cathedral has massive columns with large statues of saints, which are said to be installed in 1924. On the main altar a statue of St. Lucy holding up her eyes on her palm is surmounted.

The cathedral is best to visit in the evenings, and looks wonderful for photos with the sun set.