When the government repealed its prohibition of Christianity, the adherents of Urakami who had regained their freedom took on the building of a church as their first project. Due to funding difficulties, however, construction did not get underway for another 20 years. Finally, in 1914, this impressive structure was commemorated as Asia's leading Romanesque-style cathedral of brick construction. It featured Angelus bells from France in the front pair of towers, but these were unfortunately destroyed in the atomic bombing of 1945. One of the Angelus bells was actually blown away, along with the belfry, by the force of the blast. The building you see today was reconstructed in 1959; in 1980, it was remodeled with brick tiles and restored to its original appearance. The bombed remnants of stone statues have been arranged in the surrounding area, including the one bell that withstood the atomic bomb blast and continues to announce the hour three times a day.