San Francisco Church , Salta , Argentina


Iglesia San Francisco

Iglesia San Francisco is a towering church with prominent white pillars is one of Salta’s most famous landmarks, often pictured on the city’s postcards. Iglesia San Francisco, blood-red coat of paint strikes the visitor, and so does the architecture of this beautiful XVIII century church. Its foundations date to 1582, the year that Hernando de Lerma founded the city. A series of fires destroyed the original building, originally built in 1625; the structure was rebuilt in 1882 after a fire destroyed the old structure.  A 173 foot belfry houses a bell made from the bronze of cannons used in the Argentine War of Independence.

San Francisco Church

The first thing you will notice is its beautiful purple color, the belfry, 53 meters in height, is the tallest in South America. The bell it holds is called Campana de la Patria (the bell of the fatherland) and it was made of metal from the cannons used in the Battle of Salta during the Argentine war of independence. In front of the church is a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. There is a small museum exhibiting religious art. The San Francisco Church was made a historical monument in 1941, and elevated to the status of basilica in 1997.

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