A visit to St Mary’s Church in Negombo tells you why the city has been named as ‘Little Rome’. Highly influenced by Christianity, this place has many Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches but none of them match the ornate beauty of St Mary’s. It is the largest cathedral church in Negombo and one of the largest ones in Sri Lanka that took 50 years to complete.
Inside the church
From the outside, this 140 year old place looks like any other Catholic church but as you step inside, a sense of grandeur will startle you. The structure has gothic columns and clean cream walls, adorned with religious sculptures and intricate paintings on the ceilings. Some of the paintings show Mother Mary and some depict God and angles. At the end of the altar is a highly detailed statuette, showing Mother Mary being crowned as the Queen of the Heavens.
Next to the church
A smaller building stands next to the church, which is less ornate but has beautifully stained glass windows and a depiction of Christ. Many tourists come here even when the main church is closed during the afternoon. The light falling through the colored glass forms a fascinating sight. A prayer hall is situated downstairs from here.
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