Catholic chapel built by Italian POW’s

View of the Rift Valley, KenyaLeaving Nairobi on the A104,  i take the turning for the old Narol Road at Limuru. This used to be the main road from Nairobi to Nakuku. Immediately, the road surface changes from deeply rutted tarmac caused by the heavy lorries plying their trade along the A104 to poorly maintained tarmac. Meandering down the edge of the escarpment, i descend into mist before shortly emerging into a panoramic view of the great Rift Valley a few hundred meters below.  This road, was built by Italian prisoners of war (POW’s) which were incarcerated in the Rift Valley during the second world war.

Pentagon fronted Catholic chapel built by Italian POWs in 1942Tucked away on the inside of one of the many bends is a small Catholic chapel, built by Italian POWs in 1942. The pentagon fronted chapel measuring about 3m x 5m contains 4 pews to seat 12 people. On the inside of the chapel, above the stained glass windows and the entrance doors are painted the words:

Venite Ad Memone (Come to me my people), Haec Est Victoria Quae Vincit Mundum Fides Mustra (This is the victory that has won the world by our faith), Benedicite Coeli Domino Benedicite (Blessed be the sky and blessed again) and finally Universa Germinatia In Terra Domino, which translates to, everything will germinate in the sky and also on the earth. [Source: Standard Digital News]

Drawn in 1943, the mural behind the altar is of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, surrounded by the angels.The mural behind the alter, drawn in early 1943  by Navitatis N.D.J.C is the nativity scene and symbolises the victory achieved by the religion across the world.

Many Italians who worked on the road died due to malaria or attacked by wild animals. There are graves outside the church where the deceased were laid to rest.

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