Old Cathedral of Quelimane to reopen as a Cultural Centre

Old Cathedral of Quelimane to reopen as a Cultural Centre
Old Cathedral of Quelimane to reopen as a Cultural Centre

Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Old Cathedral in Quelimane, an iconic building and one of the oldest in the capital of Zambézia, is being transformed into a cultural centre.

The initiative is led by Associação Bons Sinais (ABS), an organisation that aims to preserve the country’s historical-cultural heritage and rewrite the narrative surrounding the Portuguese and Goan presence in Zambézia and the Zambezi Valley.

The cultural centre will be inaugurated on Sunday, August 21, the 80th anniversary of the elevation of Quelimane to the category of city.

The ceremony could see the presence of presidents Filipe Nyusi, of Mozambique, and of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, of Portugal, among thousands of national and foreign citizens.

According to Abdul Carimo, from the Good Signs Association (Associação dos Bons Sinais – ABS), 36 million meticais collected by the two embassies, citizens and friends of the city were spent on the requalification of the Nossa Senhora de Livramento Church (Old Cathedral).

Work is now in its finishing stages, with the restrooms and other facilities recently completed.

The space, Carimo added, would have a documentation centre and library, which should bring together the entire historical collection of the country, in particular the Zambezi and Zambézia Valley, thus opening an opportunity for students, teachers and researchers to develop research and rewrite history.

It will also have a workshop for the exhibition and sale of handicrafts made by local artisans.

The front of the building is a reminder of the Portuguese presence in Mozambique, while the back is reminiscent of the Goan in the Zambezi Valley.

The building was built in 1776 but soon began to deteriorate, due to neglect.

There have already been attempts to save it.

The decision to requalify the building was taken in 2017, when the Associação dos Bons Sinais took on the challenge of ensuring that the cultural centre would be open by the eightieth anniversary of Quelimane.

With a new landscape growing, many people now flock to the place to take pictures of the historic building, a mark of the pleasures of the Zambezi Valley, created by the Viceroy of Goa.

Its architectural design is similar to that of the Santa Catarina de Goa Church of 1512, also made of perishable material, itself the focus of several improvements by the Jesuits, using wood and straw.

The monument shelters the remains of Carlos Fortunato Generoso (son of Cristóvão Colombo and Emília de Assunção Generoso), of Emília António Generoso, of the Captain General of Rios de Sena, of Dona Maria Joana da Cunha and of Father Francisco.

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