Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco Church), La Paz

Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco Church), La Paz (must see)

The San Francisco Church is a remarkable hewed stone basilica with a rich history. It was founded in 1548 by Fray Francisco de los Ángeles. However, the original structure suffered a collapse due to heavy snowfall around 1610. Nonetheless, the church was rebuilt between 1743 and 1772, using stone quarried from the nearby Viacha area.

The facade of the second building is adorned with intricate carvings depicting natural themes such as chirimoyas (custard apples), pine cones, and tropical birds. These artistic details add to the beauty and charm of the church, showcasing the craftsmanship of the period.

Adjacent to the basilica, you will find the cloisters and garden of the Museo San Francisco. This museum beautifully showcases the history and art associated with the city's landmark. Inside, visitors can marvel at heavenly religious paintings, historical artifacts, and an interesting anteroom. For a unique perspective, the museum offers a fantastic view from its roof, allowing visitors to take in the panoramic scenery of La Paz.

The upper portion of Plaza San Francisco, where the church is located, features a mass of rock pillars and stone faces. This arrangement symbolizes Bolivia's three great cultures: Tiwanaku, Inca, and modern Aymará. It serves as a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the region, honoring its indigenous roots.

As one of the city's focal points, Plaza San Francisco often serves as a gathering place for rallies and protests. The square's significance extends beyond its architectural and cultural value, playing a role in the social and political life of La Paz.

The San Francisco Church stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Bolivia's history and showcases the captivating blend of art, culture, and spirituality that is deeply ingrained in the fabric of La Paz.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in La Paz. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco Church) on Map

Sight Name: Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco Church)
Sight Location: La Paz, Bolivia (See walking tours in La Paz)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in La Paz, Bolivia

Create Your Own Walk in La Paz

Create Your Own Walk in La Paz

Creating your own self-guided walk in La Paz is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
La Paz Monuments Tour

La Paz Monuments Tour

They say monuments are the grappling irons that bind one generation to another, symbolizing the country's aspirations, its past, and its character. The monuments in La Paz do exactly that, holding profound cultural, historical, and symbolic value.

The prominent statue of Pedro Domingo Murillo in Plaza Murillo commemorates the key figure of the La Paz revolution of 1809, one of the chapters...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
La Paz Introduction Walking Tour

La Paz Introduction Walking Tour

Nestled like a jewel within the cradle of the Andean highlands, over 3,500 meters above sea level, La Paz, Bolivia, is the most elevated capital city in the world. Curiously, it is one of Bolivia's two capitals (the other one is Sucre).

La Paz was founded on the site of a small Inca settlement, in 1548, by the Spanish conquistador Alonso de Mendoza, and was originally named Nuestra Señora...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles