Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul
History and museums
The Cathedral of St Vincent de Paul is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Tunis. Dedicated to Saint Vincent de Paul, patron saint of charity, the cathedral is the see of the Archdiocese of Tunis. It is situated in the Place de l'Indépendence in the Ville Nouvelle, a crossroads between Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Avenue de France, opposite the French embassy.
The church was built in a mixture of styles, including Moorish revival, Gothic revival, and Neo-Byzantine. Construction began in 1893 and the church was opened at Christmas 1897, albeit with temporary wooden belltowers owing to a shortage of funds.
Cardinal Charles Lavigerie laid the first stone for a church on 7 November 1881 a little further down Avenue de la Marine (now Avenue Habib Bourguiba). This was a Pro-cathedral; the cathedral of archdiocese (then called Carthage) being St Louis Cathedral. The Pro-cathedral was built quickly, but its condition soon deteriorated due to the adverse ground conditions, necessitating the construction of the current cathedral.
The number of Roman Catholics in Tunisia fell rapidly following Tunisian independence from France. A modus vivendi reached between the Republic of Tunisia and the Vatican in 1964 resulted in the transfer of selected buildings to the Tunisian state for public use, including the Saint Louis Cathedral in Carthage. However, the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul remains under the ownership and operation of the Roman Catholic Church in Tunisia.