Iglesia de San Francisco, La Paz

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.

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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

Site Information
Names:Church of St. Francis · Iglesia de San Francisco · San Francisco Church · St. Francisco Church
Country:Bolivia
Categories:churches
Styles:Baroque style
Dedication: St. Francis
Dates:1548; rebuilt 1784
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:16.496511° S, 68.137400° W
Address:Plaza San Francisco at Av. Mariscal Santa Cruz
La Paz, Bolivia
Hours:Mon-Sat 4-6pm
Lodging:View hotels near Iglesia de San Francisco
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Frommer's South America, 2nd ed.
  2. Lonely Planet Bolivia, 51, 53.
  3. Iglesia San Francisco - Virtual Tourist

More Information

© Sergio Serrano
© Nathan Nelson
© Nathan Nelson

Map of Iglesia de San Francisco, La Paz

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