The Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz is notable for its intricately carved façade, one the finest examples of baroque-mestizo architecture in the Americas.
History of Iglesia de San Francisco
Construction on the original San Francisco Church began on this site in 1548, one year before the founding of La Paz. The church collapsed under the weight of snow in 1610 and was reconstructed in 1784.
What to See at Iglesia de San Francisco
Blending native and Catholic art, San Francisco's Baroque façade is richly decorated with indigenous symbols such as masked figures, snakes, dragons and tropical birds.
A similar blending of traditions can be seen on the Plaza de San Francisco in front of the church: a modern sculpture of rock pillars and stone faces honors Bolivia's three great cultures: the ancient people of Tiwanaku; the Incas; and modern Bolivians.
The interior is Neoclassical in style, featuring small cedar altars decorated with gold leaf designs. The roof can be climbed for fine views of the church rooftops and the city of La Paz.
Quick Facts on Iglesia de San Francisco
|Names:||Church of St. Francis · Iglesia de San Francisco · San Francisco Church · St. Francisco Church|
|Dates:||1548; rebuilt 1784|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||16.496511° S, 68.137400° W|
|Address:||Plaza San Francisco at Av. Mariscal Santa Cruz|
La Paz, Bolivia
|Lodging:||View hotels near Iglesia de San Francisco|
- Frommer's South America, 2nd ed.
- Lonely Planet Bolivia, 51, 53.
- Iglesia San Francisco - Virtual Tourist
- Photos of Iglesia de San Francisco - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Iglesia de San Francisco, La Paz
Below is a location map and aerial view of Iglesia de San Francisco. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.