Map of Navrongo Catholic CathedralLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Visited December 2010
Navrongo is a natural stop for those travelling from Burkina Faso to Ghana after visiting Cour Royal de Tiébélé (TL) and is a good starting point for checking two of Ghanaian TL sites: Navrongo mud cathedral, located in the outskirts of town, and Tenzug-Tallensi settlements, 40 km to SE. (While in the city, which is neither too big nor interesting itself, you can also visit Paga just right at the border 12 km to the N, with its crocodile ponds and Paga Pia’s Palace; if you still have a moment, there is a 18/19th century slave camp called Pikworo with pretty interesting and touching history.)
But here’s about the cathedral, 20-minute walk from the city centre… First impression: nothing special, well, looks modern. But when you realize that this biggest building in the area, built in the 20., was entirely built of mud bricks and then was covered with mud mortar and when you see its large colonnaded interior, you start thinking that this one is really unique one! Especially when you look at the dark interior (shutters were pulled down) with unusual decorations: animals, everyday life, Last Supper, geometric patterns, I mean the original way of expression, painted by local women using kerite oil and soil-based pigments, not usual in catholic churches in West Africa. The population in this part of Ghana is mostly Christian. (The short history of the cathedral can be read on Unesco website.)
In the premises of the cathedral there’s also a replica of the grotto at Lourdes, a new basilica and a small museum. There are always some ladies sitting on front of the grotto and they were very happy to show me around. The whole name of the cathedral is Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows.