The Gambiers Archipelago

The Gambiers Archipelago 2017-02-15T11:06:16+00:00

Project Description

The Gambiers, relics of Catholicism in Polynesia

 

The mount Duff on the island of Mangareva

The mount Duff on the island of Mangareva

These islands were discovered in 1797 by the British captain James Wilson on board his ship the Duff, but they remained unknown until 1825 when an English commander, Frederick Beechey, decided to stop there to explore the archipelago which was still unknown in Europe.

The Gambiers islands and in particular the main island, Mangareva, will become the first French citadel in the Pacific with the arrival of the catholic missionaries, the Picpucians who were sent there by the Vatican in order to rid the Polynesians of the Protestant pastor’s influence.

Today, the historical richness of these islands remains in the relics of Catholicism in the South Pacific with its churches, monasteries, presbyteries, schools, and even watch towers.