Guam, while being famous for its beaches, is also home to some beautiful monuments, the enormous being the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica. In the middle of Hagatna sits this enormous church and the most impressionable of all the Catholic churches on Guam. This is the first Roman Catholic Church on Guam and is revered quite highly. The church was conceptualised in the 1600s by Padre Diego Luis San Vitores who obtained the land from Guam’s Chief Quipuha. The original structure has since been modified, added to and renovated since its inception. The church was officially named a Cathedral in 1912 and has even been bombed when the U.S. was liberating the island from the Japanese occupation in the 1940’s.
The statue of the patron saint of Hagatna – Santa Maria de Kamalen, which was found by a fisherman, is kept here at the Cathedral as well as remains of the church’s hierarchy. Many high clan Chamorus such as the Maga’lahiKe’puha (Chief Quipuha) are buried beneath the original structure of the church. As with other cathedrals around the world, this cathedral also houses a piece of the religious artefact of the original Cross. There is also a small museum that showcases Guam’s history and culture (which is a fairly new addition to the church) as well as a small gift shop.
To reach here, you willl find several tour buses that stop here on any given day as this is considered a landmark in Guam’s history. Adjacent to the Hagatna Cathedral is also the Plaza de Espana as well as the bronze statue of Pope John Paul II commemorating his 1981 visit to Guam. While you visit Guam, stay at Days Inn and partake of the great hospitality as well as Guam’s rich culture and heritage. The hotel also organizes tours to the monuments.