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“Very sad but a must see”
Review of Ntarama Church

Ranked #4 of 66 things to do in Kigali
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This site of the April 1994 massacre has been declared a genocide memorial. It remains a solemn tribute to those who were slain, the bones and belongings of the dead still lying among the aisles and the altar.
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Visiting the Church will make you sad but as a tourist in Rwanda you have to go and see it. It is unbelievable to see what happened there for someone who grew up in Western Europe. This is not like in a movie - this is what really happened. It shall never be forgotten.

Thank Andrea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"sunday school"
in 15 reviews
"surrounding buildings"
in 5 reviews
"genocide memorial"
in 16 reviews
"innocent victims"
in 2 reviews
"human remains"
in 3 reviews
"bus station"
in 3 reviews
"lost their lives"
in 3 reviews
"powerful memorial"
in 2 reviews
"move forward"
in 3 reviews
"heart breaking"
in 3 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 3 reviews
"on display"
in 4 reviews
"heart wrenching"
in 3 reviews
"mass graves"
in 2 reviews
"blood"
in 13 reviews
"babies"
in 14 reviews
"sites"
in 12 reviews
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90 - 94 of 146 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2014

Having felt the stillness of Auschwitz, the very reticent aspect likewise oppresses the mournful Ntarama church. Both heartbreaking sites are reminders of the unspeakable cruelty, barbarism, savagery, and persecution that lie in wait in the worst of humankind. Inside the Ntarama church where thousands of innocent Rwandans, thought to be Tutsi's, were slaughtered mercilessly, recess the spirits of babies, women, and men. Skull and bones remain neatly lined in rows. Upon the church pews are the clothes they wore that fateful day; bloodied and decaying. They are now the sacred vessels of the unreliable sanctuary. There is an attendant who walks respectfully through the memorial telling the story of the ethnic cleansing that happened on this hallowed ground in just one day in 1994. There is a beautiful eternal flame lighted on the grounds which renews the promise of redemption. You may photograph freely outside the church but not inside which has become a venerable coffin. If your time is limited, I maintain that the two church memorials are more important than the main memorial in Kigali. This is something that you experience, not just read.

Thank Ta-Seti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2014

This church is a must for visitors to Kigali who have an interest in the past and the horrors that occurred during the genocide.

Thank RBG-Halifax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

For those on a budget. Go to Kigali bus station. Ask to go to nyamata town for 600 francs. Once you arrive use the bargaining power you have to the max. You will get surrounded by bike taxi. Tell them you want to go to nyamata church, then ntarama and back to bus station. Anything around 2500 francs for this will be reasonable. Otherwise ntarama is about 7km to the left down the main road. Look for the Nelson Mandela signs on the left and go 2km down the dirt road to the church. We found a guide who gave us a brief tour here. Both churches are a must to see while in Rwanda.

1  Thank Seth85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 8, 2014

Ntarama Church is the satellite Church to Nyamata and is only a brief drive from the latter. Our guide was a volunteer student, who explained the history of Rwanda and its people from the 1950’s onwards, extremely well. Photography is not allowed inside the buildings on this site, however you are permitted to photograph outside in the grounds.

During the massacre at this Church, those victims who escaped outside were killed. However, there were some survivors who ran to the swamps opposite, where they were later hunted and killed or died of hunger. Very few survived. In the main Church there are visible grenade holes in the walls and grenade marks on the floor. At the back of the Church are many shelves, piled with limbs and skulls classified by the visible damage to them. Blood stained clothes are piled on every pew and hang from the ceiling. At the front of the Church, there were the weapons that were used to kill, which are quite shocking to view and to imagine the fear and pain that must have been felt by the victims. There are also personal belongings which are quite beautiful to view and acknowledge those lost. There are the remains of 100 people placed in eighteen coffins that stretch from the front of the Church to the back.

Another building on the grounds housed the kitchen, where those sheltering had bought food and utensils for cooking – as they had anticipated that they would be able to cook – but this did not eventuate.

The Sunday School for children was 3m x 6m in size. On entering, where there once were pews there are only concrete blocks remaining. The wall is stained from the blood and brains of those babies that were killed by being swung against the wall. In this room women were also violently raped and horrifically killed.

There is also a Priest’s room and a Memorial garden and wall with the names of those who died. There are intentions to also include a mass grave on the site in the future. Following your visit be sure to sit in the memorial garden and reflect on what you have seen.

Thank agentfathom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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