Taken in isolation, it’s not really newsworthy for a cathedral to reopen after renovations. But Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, a small nation on the north coast of South America, is no ordinary cathedral.
Its renovations took four years, but the building in the World Heritage site of downtown Paramaribo stood vacant for twenty-two years before that. Consider the building itself—the largest wooden structure in South America—is also over 130 years old. To arrive at the rededication day, termites had to be evicted, stolen organ pipes replaced, and a structural tilt righted.
Bishop Wilhelmus de Bekker presided at a joyous celebration that overflowed into outdoor tents where worshipers viewed the liturgy by video feed. For a wooden building, Sts. Peter and Paul may be impressively large, but the church, built originally for freed slaves and common laborers, only seats 340.
Check out these images taken during renovations, courtesy of Virtual Tourist.