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Located off of the main boulevard of the capital and open to both Catholics and non-Catholics, this church offers a nice site to rest, enjoy mass or even a concert.
The St. Paul Cathedral has quickly become a reference point for the entire Catholic population of the capital and not only! Although the structure it relatively new, it is immediately recognizable from its unique architectural style and, thus, memorable, as well. The striking object gathers local believers and visitors alike in celebrating their faith.
The cathedral is located in the Zhan D’Ark Boulevard, right in the city center. Its central location makes it easily reachable by any mode of transportation, from walking or driving to the public bus lines and taxis. Once you get there, you’ll find that it is a pleasure to walk around this space. Indeed, the entire area surrounding the cathedral is full of historical objects intertwining the city’s architectural past and future.
The cathedral’s construction began towards the end of the ‘90s and was completed on the eve of the new millennium. The cathedral was finally consecrated in 2002. In terms of the Catholic Church, this cathedral represents the Archdiocese of Tirana and Durrës. In ecclesiastical liturgy, St. Paul is the apostle who spread the word and love of God throughout the world and sacrificed his earthly life to serve Christianity. A statue of St. Paul is located on the front façade of the Cathedral, at its highest point. The raised hand of the Apostle seems to indicate the invisible connection between heaven and earth.
The church complex is surrounded by a spacious courtyard, inside which the visitor can distinguish the main building: the cathedral. The cathedral itself is a modern building which does not resemble a traditional church. The back part of the complex includes the offices and residences of the priests and the Metropolitan Archbishop of the diocese of Tirana and Durrës.
A statue of Mother Teresa – the Albanian Catholic nun and missionary who was proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis – stands in the main courtyard. Another noteworthy element of the church’s architecture is the cornerstone laid by Pope John Paul II during his visit to this site in 1993.
The interior of the building is simple and minimalist in style which suffices to convey a powerful message. The great hall, where mass is held, is adorned with statues of the apostles and crosses while the large hall space is separated by a circular balcony that runs across the entire second floor. In front of it stands the great statue of the crucified Christ, illuminated by the windows with boldly-colored frescoes.
The church is a wonderful venue for classical concerts, which it organizes and holds from time to time. Please also note that the church holds mass in both Albanian and English at different days and times. For more information on church events and activities, please contact the church directly.