Churches in Popayán

Popayán has a nice collection of colonial churches scattered throughout the whitewashed historic city center. They were all closed until after 3:30pm on the Friday I visited but I was able to admire most of them from the outside.

 

Iglesia de San Francisco

The biggest and most beautiful of the churches is Iglesia de San Francisco. It’s known as one of the best examples of baroque architecture in Colombia.

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Detail of Iglesia de San Francisco

Inside, there are several beautiful wooden altars. In 1983, an earthquake cracked open the church exposing two mummies. We didn’t get to see them.

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Interior of the Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Francisco

Iglesia de San Francisco in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Inside the Iglesia de San Francisco

 

Iglesia de San Agustín

The only other church I was able to enter was Iglesia de San Agustín. The original church was built in the late 17th century but destroyed in an earthquake in 1736. The current church is the one that was rebuilt after the earthquake.

Iglesia de San Agustín in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Agustín

Iglesia de San Agustín in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San Agustín

 

Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

In Parque Caldas is the cathedral, Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. It was originally a straw hut, but in 1609 a mud and brick structure was built. The current church was built between 1859 and 1906.

Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Catedral Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

 

Other Churches

Other churches I passed by were Iglesia de San José (1702), Iglesia de Santo Domingo, and Popayán’s oldest church, La Ermita, which dates back to 1546.

Iglesia de San José in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de San José

Iglesia de San José in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Detail of Iglesia de San José

Iglesia de Santo Domingo in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de Santo Domingo

Iglesia La Ermita in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia La Ermita

Not as noticeable were Iglesia de la Encarnación and Iglesia del Carmen.

Iglesia de la Encarnación in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia de la Encarnación

Iglesia del Carmen in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Iglesia del Carmen

 

Capilla de Belén

On a hill outside of town is Capilla de Belén. The original chapel was built in 1717 but destroyed in the 1983 earthquake. There are also some nice views of the city. To reach it, there are a series of stone steps. We decided to take a taxi because locals told us it might not be safe to walk up.

Capilla de Belén in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

Capilla de Belén

View from Capilla de Belén in Popayán, Cauca, Colombia

View from Capilla de Belén

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