The Iglesia de San Francisco is one of the main religious sites in Venezuela. Visited regularly by religious devotees, it is also now being frequented by tourists too.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The church can be found in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. The city is in the northern part of the country. You can get in by way of Maiquetía’s Simon Bolívar Airport. This is less than 30 km from Caracas. Taxis can get you in and around the city as well.
What to See There
The interior of the church is truly a sight to behold. The colonial architecture and the fine details on the wall and ceiling bespeak its history. Many of the relics on display are in the baroque style, including the altar. Despite the 19th century renovation done by Antonio Guzman Blanco, its classic look has been retained.
The Iglesia de San Francisco was constructed in the 1570s. Around 1641, the structure was completely rebuilt. The new look of the church did not last, as it would be redecorated numerous times through the years.
While the church has been remodeled over and over, it has always maintained its religious following. However, it has only been in recent years that tourists started coming.
Taxi fares cost BsF 150, but tourists may be charged a bit higher. It is possible to negotiate the price with the driver, though.
There are other interesting sites around Caracas. Not too far from the church is La Plaza Bolivar. Situated close to the city center, statues of the famous leader can be found all over the place.
Another religious building is the Caracas Cathedral. It was constructed in 1594 and can be found to the north of Plaza Bolivar. Bolivar’s parents are buried there. The church is also filled with art masterpieces. Among them are the Presentation of the Virgin by Murillo and Rubens’ Resurrection.
The Iglesia de San Francisco was the setting for the funeral of Simon Bolivar. It was conducted in the church a dozen years after he passed away. It was at this church in 1813 that he was declared the “Libertador”.