While studying English in Cape Town South Africa, you will have the chance to visit the beautiful St Georges Cathedral. This Cathedral on Wale Street is only a 10 minute walk from Oxford English Academy and is a huge part of South African history.

This is the place from where Archbishop Desmond Tutu led a march on 13 September 1989, which united more than 30 000 citizens of Cape Town in a demonstration of their commitment to peace and justice for all. They walked from the church to the city hall in a common spirit of hope and determination for the future.

It is the oldest cathedral in Southern Africa and now known as ‘the people’s cathedral’ for its role in the resistance against apartheid.

While walking through the church there are various boards with information about the church and its history. To help you understand the explanations better I have put together a list of some “church” vocabulary for you.

Aisle: The passage between the seats in a church.

Altar: Elevated structure where religious rites are performed.

Arch: Curved construction that spans an opening such as a window.

Bay window: a window that sticks out from the outside wall of a cathedral.

Cloister: A courtyard with covered walks.

Crypt: A chapel or vault beneath a church usually used for the burial of the dead.

Façade: The front of the cathedral.

Font: The vessel or basin containing water for baptism.

Gallery: Covered corridor in an upper story overlooking the nave.

Gargoyles: A grotesquely carved figure of a human or animal, projecting from the gutter of a cathedral.

Grotesque: A carving usually of a demon, dragon, or half human/half animal, serving no utilitarian purpose.

Nave: The middle or main aisle.

Rose window: A large round window containing colourful stained glass.

Spire: A sharply pointed pyramidal structure surmounting a tower.

Stained glass: Coloured windows made from a combination of many pieces of coloured and semi-transparent glass joined together with lead strips.

Vaulting: A curved, self supporting wall or ceiling that covers a space between two walls and rests on pillars.

 

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