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Basilica of our Lady of Peace, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire


Reputed to be the largest Catholic church in the world, the Basilica dominates Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire’s modest administrative capital. Designed by Pierre Fakhoury, it was built in 1989, made with Italian marble and French-made stained glass, and modelled on St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Locals boast that when asked about the cost of the building (which was reputed to have doubled the country’s national debt), President Houphoët-Boigny is supposed to have said, "How can you put a price on a gift to God?"

For many Ivoirians, the Basilica represents the heart and soul of the country.


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