Spiritual tourism in temples may have become a mainstream activity that you can do while in Bali. This time, we can go with the theme of spiritual tourism, but in a Catholic church. What do you think? Even though the majority of Balinese people are Hindu, there are also other residents who adhere to the teachings of other religions, and they live harmoniously side by side.
Palasari Catholic Church
As one of the spiritual attractions, this church actually has the name of the Church of the Sacred Heart Parish of Jesus. However, it’s better known by the people by the name of the Palasari Catholic Church in accordance with its location. Namely in the Palasari Hamlet, Ekasari Village, Melaya District, Jembrana Regency. To get there, you have to drive 20 km from Negara, the capital of Jembrana Regency. But your long journey will be worthy if compared with what you will get in the Palasari Catholic Church.
This is the first Catholic church in Bali. This building has been a silent witness to the spread of Catholicism on the island of Bali. Starting around the 1940s, there was a missionary from the Netherlands named Father Simon Buis SVD. Together with several people from Tuka and Gumbrih, Jembrana, he was trying to open the nutmeg forest to be a place where they carry out routine worship. This place was later called the Old Palasari. However, gradually, the number of people who came to attend this routine service was increasing, forcing the priest to look for new territory, replacing the Old Palasari. Finally, Father Simon decided to move to the location next to the Sanghyang River and to name this location as Palasari. Seeing the growing enthusiasm of the people, he also built a church that combined elements of Balinese architecture with the Dutch.
The architecture of the church, which adopts a mixture of Balinese and Western European styles, is another attraction you can enjoy while in the Catholic church, besides its history. Elements of Dutch architecture can be seen from the gothic style of the building. In addition, the existence of large brown glass windows, reinforce the style of ancient European buildings. Meanwhile, the Balinese element is shown by the existence of a gate located before the entrance of the church. As we know, a gate is an entrance that is always found in the temple. Mixing these two different styles produces a fairly artistic architectural style. For building photography lovers, the Palasari Catholic Church should be included in the list of your places for photo hunting.
The uniqueness of the church building can be enjoyed both from the outside and the inside. The interior design is so unique. You can feel an ancient European style on the inside. Moreover, the church management deliberately displayed photographs of the past that show the history of church construction. A religious impression is also felt when entering the church. There are about 14 carvings of crosses, altars, statues, and the statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Not to forget, the nuances of Bali are also felt by the presence of buildings or umbrellas that are placed around the altar.