Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia

Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia is the oldest church in the country!

by Salsabila Nasution
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Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia

Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia is another place that you should absolutely visit in Dataran Merdeka. Not only because it is easily accessible, but also because the cathedral is the oldest Anglican Church in Malaysia. It was just a simple wooden hut that serves as a church with a minimum budget, now it has magnificent architecture. With a majority of Muslim populations in Malaysia, this church has become a prove of toleration and harmony in local communities.

Location of Saint Mary Cathedral

Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia is very close by the Medeka Square and a walk distance from Jamek Mosque. Since located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, it is easily accessible by Malaysian’s public Transportation. You can take the Light Rail Transit (LRT) for a convenient journey then stop at Masjid Jamek Station. After that, you can either walk a little bit longer or take the U11 bus and stop at jalan Raja (Raja Street). The church building is beside the bus stop. If you are coming from the International Airport, it is around one hour twenty minutes by Light Rail Transit. I suggest you book your hotel first, then head to walk around there. For easier access through Google Maps, click here.

A cathedral full of History

Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia

The St. Mary Cathedral of Malaysia was first constructed as a simple wooden building in 1887 for local communities who follows Christianity. The wooden building was on the top of Bukit Aman or Aman Hill. As the church getting more crowd, they then collected more donations from governments and other foundations to collect around $10,000 to rebuild the church. The location chosen was the place now called Dataran Merdeka. One of them who donated for the church was the generous Capitan China Yap Kwan Seng who at the time was not even a Christian. Then they began the first construction in 1894.

The architect of this building was A.C. Norman who also designed another majestic building in Dataran Merdeka, which is the Sultan Abdul Samad building. They did several other improvements and renovations to the building in 2012. They added sound-proof rooms and the construction of pipe-organs.

Strolling Around the Cathedral

Saint Mary Cathedral of Malaysia

The cathedral is not huge at all if you compared the building to the other buildings around the Dataran Merdeka. There is no tower or the huge bell most iconic churches have. But that doesn’t reduce the historical value of the building. The architecture of the building is more like an early English-Gothic Style. They also did not have Christian Cemetery because the area of the building occasionally flooded by the nearby river. Funerals for the locals then took place at the Protestant cemetery. This cemetery is not too far either, which is in Venning Road., beside the Jamek Mosque.

If you would like to see the full activities of the church, you should come on Sunday. There are English services available for English speakers as well if you would like to join. Anyway, you can always come every day without admission fees.

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