See 8 exterior, interior images of new Praia Cape Verde Temple, which starts its open house this week

Interior and exterior photographs of the Praia Cape Verde Temple have been published in conjunction with the new temple’s open house, which begins this week.

The Praia temple will be the 173rd dedicated temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following the May 22 dedication of the Yigo Guam Temple, a similar sacred edifice for island-based Latter-day Saints halfway around the world.

The celestial room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The celestial room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The images were published Wednesday, May 18, in the early morning hours of local time for the Republic of Cabo Verde, located 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. The photographs include exterior shots as well as images from various rooms and areas inside.

Elder Gary B. Sabin, a General Authority Seventy and assistant executive director of the Temple Department, will be presiding at the open house’s tours with invited guests. He will be accompanied by Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, a General Authority Seventy who is a counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency.

The baptistry in the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The baptistry in the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Public tours of the temple are available, from Saturday, May 21, through Saturday, June 11, excluding the three Sundays during that three-week open house period.

The Praia Cape Verde Temple’s dedication is scheduled for three sessions — at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. — on Sunday, June 19, with Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles presiding over the dedication weekend events.

A sealing room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
A sealing room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On the eve of the dedication, Latter-day Saint youth will gather in a nearby Church meetinghouse for a devotional on Saturday, June 18.

President Russell M. Nelson announced a temple for Cape Verde during the October 2018 general conference, one of 12 new temple locations identified that day. Elder Paul V. Johnson, a General Authority Seventy who then was president of the Church’s Europe Area, presided at the May 4, 2019, groundbreaking ceremony.

The front entrance of the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The front entrance of the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The single-story building of nearly 8,880 square feet (813.7 square meters) features a spire reaching 80 feet (24.4 meters) that has been described as reflective of the architectural styles in the area. The exterior finish features moleanos limestone from Portugal.

Set in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago, the 4.46-acre temple site is east of Avenida Cidade de Lisboa in Praia’s Tahiti Cha de Areia neighborhood on Santiago Island.

The recommend desk in the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The recommend desk in the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The temple is surrounded by tranquil gardens featuring a wide variety of plants, including shade trees, palms and hundreds of flowering shrubs, all selected not only for their beauty but also for their environmental fit.

The site also includes a meetinghouse.

The oxen representing each of the 12 tribes of Israel on the font in the baptistry at the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The oxen representing each of the 12 tribes of Israel on the font in the baptistry at the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Praia temple will be the first in the 10-island nation of about 450,000 people. More than 15,000 Latter-day Saints in some 40 congregations reside in Cabo Verde, which despite its proximity to the African continent is part of the Church’s Europe North Area.

Missionary work officially began in Cape Verde in 1988, with the creation of the Praia Branch coming a short time later. Today, Cape Verde has four stakes, one district and more than 40 congregations, with the Cape Verde Praia Mission created in 2002.

The celestial room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple.
The celestial room in the Praia Cape Verde Temple. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints