St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine)
The cathedral’s 70-foot (21-meter) towers serve as distinctive landmarks of the island, as they are the first structures that people see when approaching Antigua by boat. While the view is impressive to some, the sight of the towers once struck fear into the hearts of slaves who were arriving, as it reminded them of the oppressive power of the British who ruled over Antigua. Stop by the cathedral and see the famed bronze statues of the two saints: St. John the Baptist and the one whom the church was named after, St. John the Divine. The stoic, European look of the cathedral is a unique departure from the relaxed ocean vibe of this Caribbean island. Guided cultural tours of Antigua typically include a stop at the cathedral.
Recent reviews from experiences in St John's
Things to know before you go
- The church reopened in 2018, following extensive restorations, which are still ongoing.
- A historic graveyard dating back to the 1700s is also on-site.
- The cathedral is also known as St. John the Divine, the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba.
- Outside the Heritage Quay area, sidewalks and roads in Antigua can be difficult to navigate with a wheelchair; booking a wheelchair-accessible tour is advised.
How to get there
St. John's Cathedral is located on the western end of Antigua and is about a 15-minute drive from the airport. The cathedral is within walking distance of most of the historical attractions of Antigua. It is also close to the two main bus stations, the West bus station located opposite the public market and the East bus station on Independence Avenue.
When to get there
Mass and prayer services are held throughout the week in both the mornings and evenings; check the cathedral website for times. Overall, you’ll encounter the biggest crowds from December to February, as this is peak tourist season in Antigua. For an authentic island experience, visit during Antigua’s Carnival, which takes place from late July to early August. The 13-day event features parades, pageants, concerts, and more, attracting plenty of locals and visitors.
The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda
Less than a 5-minute walk from the cathedral, the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, located in the former St. John’s Courthouse, recounts the history of this twin-island nation, from its geological beginnings to its political independence from Britain. There is also a small gift shop on site selling work by local artists.
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