Colombia, a predominantly Catholic nation and a former Spanish colony, is full of beautiful historic cathedrals. Today, we want to tell you about five of the most famous cathedrals and churches you can visit in Colombia.
1. Santuario de las Lajas
The Santuario de las Lajas is an incredibly awe-inspiring temple located in the Colombian department of Pasto in the city of Ipiales. Constructed in the neo-gothic style, this monastery has been a site of pilgrimages since the 18th century. While the cathedral has obvious religious importance, it also invokes a sense of appreciation and awe with its location—it spans the distance between two mountains, crossing over the Guáitara River. Having received a Canonical Coronation and having also been declared cultural heritage of the nation in 1984, the Santuario de las Lajas is definitely worth a visit.
2. La Catedral Primada in Bogota
A neoclassic cathedral, the Catedral Primada in Bogotá is located in the well-known Plaza de Bolívar in the historical centre of the city. The first cathedral constructed in Bogotá, the structure of the cathedral dates back to the 16th century when the Spaniard Don Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada founded Bogotá as a city. Of particular interest is the organ located in the cathedral that was constructed in the 19th century. One of the most traditional and photographed sites in Bogotá, the Catedral Primada should be on anyone’s list of places to visit during their time in Colombia.
3. Zipaquira Salt Cathedral
The Catedral de Sal (the Salt Cathedral) is a very unique cathedral located in the city of Zipaquirá, a short drive or bus ride outside of Bogotá. The Catedral de Sal has been declared the First Wonder of Colombia and claims to be the most recognized tourist attraction in the country. Definitely a unique site, the Catedral de Sal is literally a cathedral constructed in salt mines located beneath the ground in the tunnels and caves of an old salt mine. Most assuredly a unique site to see, you should set aside time to visit the Catedral de Sal and the newly constructed attractions in its surroundings.
4. Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría de Cartagena de Indias
Located in the city of Cartagena on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, the Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría de Cartagena de Indias is one of the most recognizable elements in the skyline of the historic walled city area of the city. With its original structure commencing construction during the 16th century, the actual cathedral you enter nowadays officially finished construction in the 17th century after attacks from the famous English Francis Drake. With an impressive altar and unique history, the Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría is an interesting cathedral to visit, and you are sure to learn a bit of history if you include it on your itinerary.
5. Iglesia San Francisco Bogotá
Declared a national monument in 1975, the Iglesia San Francisco is a Franciscan church that was constructed in the 17th century and boasts a magnificent altarpiece. If for no other reason, you should visit this church to admire the intricate and impressive altarpiece adorning this church.
The Uncover Colombia Team