Tourist Attraction in Yamoussoukro: Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro
The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace Yamoussoukro (Basilique Notre Dame de la Paix de Yamoussoukro) is a Roman Catholic church in Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital of the Ivory Coast. Often classified as the largest Christian church in the world, the basilica was built between 1985 and 1989 at a cost of 300 million dollars, and was intentionally modeled as the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. Construction began on August 10, 1985, and was consecrated by Pope John Paul II on September 10, 1990. Contrary to popular belief, this particular basilica is not a cathedral. Near it, St. Augustine's Cathedral is the main place of worship and seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Yamoussoukro. Guinness World Records classifies it as the world's largest church, having surpassed the previous record holder, St. Peter's Basilica, upon completion. Our Lady of Peace has a large surface, and a dome greater than that of St. Peter. However, it is also included in this measurement the dining hall and the village, which are not part of the church and can accommodate 18,000 devotees, compared to the 60,000 of St. Peter. While drawing the basilica, the architect Pierre Fakhoury devised a dome slightly smaller than that of St. Peter's Basilica, ornamented with a large cross at the top. The final height was 158 meters. The basilica was built with marble imported from Italy and 7000 square meters of contemporary stained glass from France. The columns are plentiful along the basilica, but do not have uniform style. There is little space to accommodate 7000 people sitting on the ship having a capacity of up to 11,000 people standing. Part of the basilica there are two identical buildings serving as refectory and papal residence (village) respectively. The village is reserved for papal visit, which only occurred once.