St. John’s Cathedral stands attractively upon its
well-manicured lawn on the southern end of Albert Street.
St. John’s is the oldest Anglican Church in Central
America, and one of the oldest buildings in Belize. The
orange bricks came to Belize aboard British ships as ballast.
Construction began in 1812, and the church was completed
St. John’s is the only Anglican cathedral in the world
outside of England where the crowning of kings took place.
Between 1815 and 1845, four kings of the Mosquito Coast
were crowned in Belize amid ceremonial splendor. The Mosquito
Coast refers to an area along the east coast of present
day Honduras and Nicaragua, which were inhabited by the
Mosquito or Miskito Indians, indigenous to the region. Because
of the British’s interest in logwood in the area,
they established the protective kingdom in the 1600s. Because
of poor relations between the Miskitos and the Spanish,
and because of the British interest in the area, a formal
treaty of Friendship and Alliance was concluded in the 1700s.
Bricks once used as Ballast
Subsequently, the British were forced to relinquish formal
protectorate over the coast, but still maintained an unofficial
protectorate. In addition to the coronations that took place
at St. John’s Cathedral, members of the royal family
were educated in Belize, and their children baptized in
the church, all in an effort to avoid Spanish colonial rule.
The Republic of Nicaragua, the successor state after Spain,
ceased to recognize the Mosquito Kingdom in the late 1800’s.
Later, the so-called kingdom was split, and the north incorporated
into the Republic of Honduras, and the south into the Republic
The church still offers regular services to those practicing
Anglican residents, and is arguably the most beautiful old
church in the country.