In 1852, a couple European men had an architectural vision. They wanted to build a cathedral on the small island they now lived on. They were Catholic men and therefore wanted a Catholic Church to worship in. With the help of Bishop Bataillon, and over the course of three years, an impeccable cathedral was constructed. Unfortunately, this historic landmark was damaged in an earthquake in 2009. Luckily for locals and travelers alike, it has since been restored and remodeled and open to the public since 2014. Visit expedia.com for more details
With stunning columns and small murals surrounding the perimeter of the building, the restored Immaculate Conception Cathedral is painted in white with accents of dark brown. Although this presentation is jaw-dropping, the real attention grabber is the roof. Painted in a light teal blue, it is hard to miss. Stained glass windows cover the front of the cathedral, showing that the designers had a precise attention to detail.
A quick nine minute drive down the coast from the Fagali Airport, most travelers can squeeze this sight into their itinerary. In fact, it is situated in a great location between Fagali and the other sites in the greater Apia area. As most travelers fly into the Fagali Airport to reach Upolu, there is really no excuse to skip an architectural wonder such as this.
Once inside the cathedral, visitors pass rows and rows of wooden pews and they walk across the beautiful tiled floor. Arches line the outside aisles with circular stained glass framed in the tracery. As the visitors reach the alter, they are surrounded by articulate art forms; statues, stained glass, and murals. Though this seems beautiful all on it’s own, when one looks up, they see the most exquisite mural of all. This cupola displays the Samoan take on the Catholic imagery those of us in the Western world have become familiar with.
Whether you have plans to visit the Immaculate Conception Cathedral or not, it is a beautiful spot to admire the local architecture in Apia and Fagali. It has become a place where locals and travelers alike can come and appreciate the religious history on the island of Upolu.