Located on a hill, the St. Joseph's Cathedral dominates the center of Noumea. It became a listed historic monument in 1992 thanks to its original architecture reminiscent of Argentine churches style.
A monument, testimony to the past
Closely related to the Caledonian history, it was mainly built by prison labour starting in 1887. It is also an ex-convict named Labulle who developed the plans used to erect the building. After ten years of work, the cathedral was inaugurated in 1897.
The reason for this project was to replace the Sainte-Clothilde Church that was not large enough anymore and had suffered much damage due to the rough Caledonian weather, especially hurricanes.
It is named in honour of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. There also are many stained glass windows adorning the building, which represent characters from the Bible and the Saints.
A decoration deserving some attention
The large chandelier in the ceiling was produced with nickel-based sheets (from the first Caledonian exploitation). It is a replica of the one present in the Church of “La Madeleine” located in Paris.
One can also see as other decorative elements the large clams, the tamanou woodwork which include the two carved columns of the entrance, the great organ, the delicate carvings that decorate the confessional and the altar. Outside stands a large statue of Our Lady of the waves.
In recent years, the monument has undergone, several renovations including its bell tower where the bells could not sound due to a technical failure. It was able to resume service on 2015 Christmas Eve to the delight of the inhabitants.
St. Joseph Cathedral is a pillar of the identity of Noumea where you can go to stroll to admire its details or join a guided tour that will allow you to know all the secrets.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION :
Address: 3 rue Frédéric Surleau (city center)
Phone: +687 27 32 88
Hours Sunday Masses: 6am - 9am -6h30 pm