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Namirembe Cathedral


The Anglican now Church of Uganda cathedral perched on top of Namirembe hill, roughly 1.5 KM west of the city center off Natete Road is one of the most impressive colonial constructions in Kampala and it also offers the superb views over the city center and suburbs.

The name Namirembe is a Luganda word meaning the “of peace” thus the hill was traditionally regarded as the hill of peace.

The original cathedral was completed in 1903 and consecrated a year later was built entirely by Buganda artisans under the supervision of a British missionary and could hold a congregation of 3,000 people.

It was described contemporaneously by W E Hoyle as a remarkable building with walls of sun dried bricks and brick columns supporting the thatch roof containing 120 tons of thatch and a ceiling covered with washed reeds of elephant grass.

This building was destroyed by lightening in 1910 and the current cathedral, is a conservative structure of red bricks built to vast dimensions and graced by some attractive stained glass windows was completed in 1919.

The Namirembe cathedral also referred to as St Paul’s Church is the biggest Anglican Church in Uganda with magnificent architecture and great interior decor. At its back yard has a cemetery containing the grave of Bishop Hannington, who lost his dear life in 1885 at place close to Jinja including the grave of Sir Albert cook a pioneering medical doctor who arrived in Kampala in 1896.

Brass memorial plagues on the wall testify to the often short lives of Europeans in those early days.