Our region, like the rest of Colombia, is mostly Catholic, so in every town you will have the opportunity to appreciate Churches which are marvels of colonial engineering. It is for this reason that we want to show you the 5 most beautiful churches in Santander Colombia.
Our Catholic faith is reflected in the identity of the people of Santander and is the source of a unique cultural heritage both for the architectural beauty of the monuments and for the related traditions.
In this sense, if you want to integrate into the local culture, learn about our customs and raise your spirituality – regardless of your creed, we invite you to know the 5 most beautiful churches in Santander Colombia.
The churches as the epicenter of our identity
The Catholic tradition in Santander, Colombia and Latin America comes from the time of Spanish colonization which was accompanied by education in the Christian faith. For this reason, it is easy to see that among the first constructions of our towns were the 5 most beautiful churches in Santander Colombia.
In every community the church is an essential point of reference. First, it serves as a location and a meeting point due to the fact that it is usually located in the center of the localities and surrounded by beautiful parks and colonial balconies.
Second, it host the most important events in local life occur, including sacraments and religious and popular festivities that attract residents, neighbors, and visitors whether they are faithful or lay.
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The churches as an architectural heritage of Santander
In every town of Santander, Colombia, there are different religious buildings including churches, chapels, schools, seminaries, universities, convents, hospitals, and cemeteries that reflect our faith and tradition and that you can freely visit any day of the week, at no cost, as you walk the streets and squares.
To give you an idea, in Santander there are 87 towns and at least the same number of churches, without counting the local chapels. The churches present different styles of architecture ranging from colonial, republican and modern constructions with classic, gothic, baroque or contemporary styles and differ in art and technique from temples in other regions of the country.
The 5 most beautiful churches in Santander Colombia
Religious tourism is part of sustainable tourism because it contributes to the protection of cultural heritage, facilitates contact between receiving communities and travelers, and contributes to tolerance, respect and understanding between different cultures.
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For these facts, if you are a traveler interested in sustainable tourism in our region, we want to show you the 5 most beautiful churches in Santander, Colombia.
1. Parish of the Immaculate Conception of Barichara
It is believed that the Parish of the Immaculate Conception of Barichara was built during 1838. This beautiful monument has many extraordinary elements including the altar covered with gold plates and ten columns that support the arches.
The lovely color of this construction contrasts with the beautiful whitewashed walls and cobblestone roads that make Barichara the most beautiful town in Colombia. It is for all the above that this magnificent building is part of the 5 most beautiful churches in Santander Colombia.
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2. Basilica of Our Lady of Socorro
The construction of this temple was directed by Bonifacio Vargas and Ignacio Martinez and took place from 1873 to 1943. This monument is famous for being the largest stone building in Colombia, recognized by the Congress of the Republic as a symbol of interest Cultural for the country and declared a national monument, because of its great architectural and historical importance.
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3. Basilica of Saint Juan Bautista
This Basilica was built in 1639 and originally had thatched roof and bahareque walls. Its main attraction is the image of the Lord of Miracles that according to the popular story was acquired by a couple from Santander and exposed on a farm for the worship of the peasants until finally in 1892 was moved to the Parish church.
This Basilica is especially visited by tourists from all over the world every September 14th, when the Celebration of the Lord of Miracles takes place.
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4. Church of Saint Lucy of Guane
This church is National monument and considered material heritage of the Colombians because of its antiquity and authenticity. The chapel was completed in 1786 and it is the first in the country that was built and administered by Spanish missionaries in order to convert the indigenous population to the Catholic faith.
It is worth to see the display of a beautiful image of Saint Lucy, patron saint of the City and of the sight, which appears to have been brought by the Guane Indians in 1751 and which is especially venerated every December 13th.
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5. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snow in Velez
The city of Vélez was founded in 1539 and is famous for being one of the oldest municipalities in Colombia, home to one of the first demonstrations against the Spanish crown in 1740 and the first place in America to grant women the vote. Its cathedral dates back to 1560 and is unique in the world because it is crossed on one side of the main park and its entrance is on one side.
Each year thousands of tourists visit Velez to enjoy its cathedral, the annual musical Guabina and Tiple party and to try their delicious sweets and snacks that enjoy a denomination of origin.