Iglesia de La Candelaria


Calle 50 #49 - 112
La Candelaria, Medellin

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Iglesia de La Candelaria – Oldest Church in Medellin

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Oldest Church in Medellin
Over 374 years old.

This was the first parish church in the city and was first built in 1649. It has been rebuilt and remodeled several times over the years and is such an important church to Antioquian culture and religion that it was declared a National Monument of Colombia in 1998.

The initial construction of this church was very simple and poor. It was made of wood and a thatched roof, but it was very special and significant for the local congregation since it was the first of its class. For that reason, it is a church that has stood to this day. It is a place dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, who was venerated by the Spanish and specifically by the sailors who came from Spain in the late 1600s. Thanks to the donations of important religious and influential people, not only has this church been remodeled several times, but they have also filled its interior with beautiful religious and artistic elements.
Despite all its renovations, today the church retains an aspect similar to its initial image, thanks to the consideration of keeping its architecture faithful to its essence. When it was restored in 1997, they used the same technique and materials as at the time of its construction, but in a safer and more effective way.

The Historical Significance of This Church

The architectural style of this colonial church is neoclassical. Inside you will find many artistic and religious elements of great importance that you cannot avoid noticing if you visit this basilica. For example, on the main altar there is a picture of the Purification that was given by the regent queen of Spain Mariana of Austria and her son Carlos II. This painting was canonically crowned, which makes it one of the most important artworks that this church has.
Among the outstanding elements of this basilica are a Walker organ brought from England, a silver tabernacle from 1865 brought from Paris, three bells brought from New York, and a very valuable jewelry box of the Virgin. There is also a tabernacle 4.60 meters high brought from France. It is made of silver and is crowned with a cross. This church also has a sacristy with an art gallery.
The Jesús Caído is one of the most relevant images that this basilica has. Many Catholic people go to this church to venerate this image that represents Christ suffering during the Via Crucis. Another of the most characteristic aspects of this basilica is the High Altar. It is made up of three structures and is one of the most special and beautiful areas of the church. There is a table covered in silver and a structure that was built specifically to put the painting of the La Virgen de La Candelaria.

Travel Tip & FYI

Near this church there are some popular tourist places of Medellín that you will surely want to visit. One of them is the Plaza Botero and it will only take you 5 minutes to walk from one place to another. Also, you will find Parque Berrío and Junin Shopping district next to this church.

Getting There & Parking​

By Metro: The Basilica de la Candelaria is located next to the Parque Berrío metro station. You can get there if you use the Line A of the metro.

By Bus: To get to the basilica by bus, you can take one of these units whose route stops near that point: 023, 042, 135, 136, 136A, 6C8.

By Car: This is a destination known to taxi drivers so it will be easy to get there. In the surroundings of the church you can also find taxi units available if you want to go somewhere else.

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