The complex is over 30,000 square meters and the dome rises over 500 feet into the air and can accommodate 18,000 worshippers, which was constructed in 1989 at a cost of US$ 300 million.
The building was constructed from imported Italian marble, and contains twenty-four stained glass windows, including one with the likeness of President Houphouët-Boigny alongside Jesus and his Apostles. West African Iroko wood was used for the 7,000 pews. Two identical villas sit in front of the structure. One houses clergymen who operate the basilica and the other is reserved for papal visits. The basilica’s circular colonnade is made up of 272 Doric columns.
Regular services are usually only attended by a few hundred people. The only time the basilica was filled to capacity was on February 7, 1994, for President Houphouët-Boigny’s funeral. Only 17 percent of Ivorians identify as Catholic, while Islam remains the major religion of the nation.
The Guinness World Records lists it as the largest church in the world and second tallest building in the World. It alleged that Europe was not happy that the tallest church in the world will be in Africa, so they advice the Catholic Pope to order President Felix Houphet Boigny to reduce it so that it won't be taller than Saint Peter's Basilica in the Rome which is in Europe. And FHB did that without wasting time. It may interest you as an African to know that the Notre Dame la Paix is a special gift to Pope John Paul 11.
This means that the Church building is a direct property of Rome and can be auction, destroy or be close through a direct order from Rome without consultation to the authorities in Yamoussoukro. Africa have a long way to go in terms of Religion bigotry.
Sincerely 300 Million US Dollars in 1986 was huge amount of money approximately 60 Billon Dollars in 2021, in my opinion, do you know that $100m can give you 100 polyclinics of 250 beds and employ over 200 Health workers each?
Moreover $100m can give you 50 factories that can employ 500 people each (25,000 people), and the other $100m can put up 100 Super Green houses and farms and make sure good security is done and dusted. That can also provide direct and indirect jobs.
Rather, we choose to build a house no one lives in and God doesn't live in buildings. If our hearts are ugly then God is on vacation.
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