The Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is a major tourist attraction on the island of Mahé. Located on Olivier Maradan Street in the capital city of Victoria, the beautiful building is the largest Catholic church in Seychelles.
A quiet place for worship and contemplation for local people, visitors are welcome to attend mass or they can simply spend some quiet time marvelling at the majestic historic building and its grounds.
The imposing cathedral is the Mother Church of the Catholic Diocese of Seychelles. It was built on the site where Father Leon of Avanchers constructed the first vault in March 1851, which was devoted to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.
Built in 1892, it is one of Seychelles' earliest churches. The cathedral underwent a major refurbishment from 1993 to 1995, which involved the entire building being renovated - with the exception of the exterior walls. The finishing touches to the restoration project were completed by Seychellois sculptor Egbert Marday, who produced a tabernacle and intricately-carved doors.
The cathedral provides the final resting place for Felix Paul, the first Seychellois Bishop, who died on 21st November 2001. He is buried in a tomb inside the cathedral. The tomb isn't visible, as it's built into the flooring but its location is commemorated by a plaque.
The landmark white building is striking, surrounded by a well-maintained garden that is filled with vividly-coloured flowers, plants and trees. An imposing stone staircase leads to the cathedral's main entrance.
White stone pillars stand majestically at either side of the door, while the stained-glass windows create brilliant, vibrant colours that shimmer in the sunlight. Constructed in 1898, the bell tower is located at the rear of the cathedral.
The two-storey priest house, La Domus, stands next to the cathedral. Built in 1934, its granite exterior makes it one of the most impressive buildings in Seychelles.
Inside the cathedral, rows of classic wooden pews stretch to the altar, which is accessible via four stone steps. The aisle is flagged with tastefully-coloured stone flags. Often adorned not only with religious artefacts but also with fresh flowers, the magnificent altar stands resplendent in the crowning glory of the sunshine.
The cathedral rates highly on Trip Advisor as a 'must see' place of interest. Described as the most amazing piece of architecture on Mahé island, visitors comment on the pleasure they feel just from entering the church and relaxing, while soaking up the calm, silent atmosphere. With the capacity to hold around 700 people, there is ample space for tourists to enjoy sitting alongside local worshippers, taking part in the mass and listening to the cathedral choir.
Visiting the Cathedral of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is highly recommended, regardless of whether you are religious, as it's a place to immerse yourself in the heritage of Seychelles and enjoy some quality time alone or with loved ones.
Savoy Resort and Spa can’t wait to welcome you to our luxurious five-star accommodation on Beau Vallon beach. At just under 4km from the Cathedral, our conveniently located hotel complex is a mere stone’s throw from some of the island’s most popular tourist attractions.