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5 emblematic churches in Barranquilla

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Just as a famous Colombian saying goes: "he who sins and prays draws", after a great season of celebration and excesses with the festivities of the Barranquilla Carnival - declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO - we bring you this guide of emblematic churches that you will not want to miss if you visit the city to enjoy its architectural charm and redeem your most recent sins: 

San Nicolás de Tolentino Church

It is named after the patron saint of the city, Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, an Italian priest who dedicated his life to help the poorest people. 

The history of the church goes back to the end of the XVI century, when Nicolás de Barros founded the San Nicolás Church, he entrusted it to this saint, since it was frequent that during the colonial times the haciendas were entrusted to a saint and that the workers and neighbors attended the masses and processions carried out in his honor. However, only 300 years later it could be delivered due to the economic crisis of the time. Its architecture is neo-Gothic and is located in the historic center of the city facing the Magdalena River.

Important facts:

  • It is one of the oldest churches in the city.
  • In the year 2005 it was declared as Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture. 
  • Inside the church there is a cloth with real blood of the Italian saint.
  • In its main altar is embedded a small bone of St. Nicholas of Tolentino.

Location: Av. el Progreso #35, historic center of Barranquilla.

Metropolitan Cathedral Maria Reina 

This is one of the most representative churches of the city, which was also visited by Pope John Paul II in 1986. It stands out from others for its famous stained glass windows and because it contains a very famous sculpture called 'Latin American Liberator Christ' made by the master Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt

Important facts: 

  • Its stained glass windows were elaborated by the painter Mario de Ayala, they measure approximately 25 meters long and 6 meters wide, and in them are captured some representative facts of the Bible. 
  • The sculpture of the Latin American Liberator Christ weighs 16 tons and was made in bronze with keys and padlocks that were collected months before its construction. 

Location: 53rd Street with 46th Street, in front of Plaza de la Paz. 

Nuestra señora del Perpetuo Socorro Church

It was founded in 1946 by the Redemptorist Missionaries, becoming the sixth parish of the city. It bears the name of Señora del Perpetuo Socorro because the celebration of this virgin is in June, a month that coincides with the creation of this temple. 

Important facts:

  • In 1958 Gabriel Garcia Marquéz, our Nobel Prize in Literature, married his wife and life partner, Mercedes Barcha, there.
  • The parish was built to solve the shortage of churches in the city.

Location: Carrera 46 #66 - 35, Barrio Boston.

San Roque Church 

In 1849 a great wave of cholera struck the then town of Barranquilla and its inhabitants asked San Roque, patron saint of the poor, that if he would help them overcome the crisis they would create a church in his name. That is how the idea of building this iconic building in the historic center of the city was born.  The parish was considered 'illegal' from October 31, 1853 until July 30, 1881 when Monsignor José Romero, Bishop of Santa Marta, officially consecrated it as a parish.

Important facts:

  • Its style is neo-Gothic, particularly reflected in its soaring towers and large dome.
  • Next to the church there is a square with the same name, where you can buy handicrafts and general commerce.

Location: Calle 30 con carrera 35 - 11, Barrio San Roque.

Inmaculada Concepción Parish 

This white church is an emblem of Republican style, is located in the El Prado neighborhood a few blocks from the emblematic Hotel El Prado.

Important facts: 

  • On February 2, 2005, the Ministry of Culture declared the El Prado and Bellavista neighborhoods as a heritage zone of the city. In the same year, the Inmaculada Concepción parish was declared a 'Heritage Asset'.
  • Every December 8, the church is illuminated with lanterns, as the parishioners use this light to thank the virgin for carrying Jesus Christ in her womb.
  • This church has been part of marriages of important people of the city including some of the queens of the Carnival of Barranquilla.

Location: Cra. 57 #68-85, Barrio el Prado.

If you would like to know more about the history of the city write to us at

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