07.08.

1960: The African Country which Built the Largest Church in the World

1960: The African Country which Built the Largest Church in the World
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Boigny with Nicolae Ceauşescu in 1977

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 7 August 1960
  • The first president of the Ivory Coast was Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He was a Catholic by faith and had a large basilica, somewhat similar to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, erected in the city of Yamoussoukro. This basilica was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records at the world’s largest church.

The Ivory Coast, a state in Africa, gained its independence on this day in 1960

French is still the official language in that country, and its formal name is „République de Côte d’Ivoire“. This is a legacy of the country’s colonial history.

The first president of the independent Ivory Coast was Félix Houphouët-Boigny. He had a political career back in the time of the French colonial government, and later became the French minister of Health.

This presented a historical first, since Houphouët-Boigny became the first African to participate in a European country’s government.

Houphouët-Boigny remained the president of the Ivory coast for as many as 33 years, making him the longest-reigning president in African history until that point.

He was of Catholic faith and had a large basilica, somewhat similar to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, erected in the city of Yamoussoukro.

This basilica was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records at the world’s largest church.

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