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Cathedral of the Assumption in Penang

Georgetown Attractions

Cathedral of the Assumption is the oldest church in Penang. Proudly preserved, the 160-year old cathedral is a world heritage church and was founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light. Set close to the Penang State Museum & Art Gallery on Farquhar Street, the twin-spired church houses the only pipe-organ in Penang.

It was the first Roman Catholic church in Malaysia’s northern region and was also the first church in Malaysia built by the British. It is not as popular as the Church of St. Anne’s, which hosts the annual St. Anne’s Feast but it is still a well-known Penang sight.

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History of Cathedral of the Assumption

Cathedral of the Assumption was built in conjunction with Captain Francis Light’s landing in Penang to accommodate the island’s growing Catholic population. As Penang’s population increased, it became more popular and it expanded in size. In 1860 it was renovated into the structure it is today: a cross-shaped building with two bell towers and a huge altar.

In 1941 when the Japanese occupied Penang, the church was closed except for a few masses: in 1955 after their occupation ended, the Vatican decreed it a cathedral. It underwent further extensive renovations in 1928.

It is named after the feast of the Assumption of The Blessed Mary and has a choir that sings hymns in both Latin and English.

Cathedral of the Assumption

  • Location: Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown
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