Iglesia de San Benito is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located in the San Benito barrio in La Candelaria (El Centro) in Medellín, which is worth seeing if you like old and historic churches.
Iglesia de San Benito is a church with a history that traces back to 1678. In addition, it’s a neo-Romanesque-style church that has several simple stained-glass windows and many pieces of religious artwork.
History of Iglesia de San Benito
Iglesia de San Benito has one of the oldest histories out of the churches in Medellín. The history of Iglesia de San Benito goes back to the year 1678, when the original church at this site was reportedly built by María Paladines de La Fuente, on land purchased from Marcos López de Restrepo.
The church was the main temple at the western end of the city until the beginning of the 20th century. And during the fight for Colombia’s independence from Spain, the church served as a shelter.
At the end of the 18th century the church was in bad condition. So, in December 1802, the church was rebuilt by Father José Antonio Naranjo y Gómez.
The church was administered by the secular clergy as a chapel or vice-parish of La Candelaria until October 16, 1900. At this time, Monsignor Joaquín Pardo Vergara, Bishop of Medellín, placed the church in the hands of the Franciscan Fathers.
The church again needed to be rebuilt between the years of 1919 and 1928. The parish for the church was created by Monsignor Tulio Botero Salazar by decree 300 of August 21, 1961, and his first parish priest was Father Fray Jorge Ospina.
Subsequently, the church and associated convent have undergone several renovations, particularly in the interior. Furthermore, around the church is a campus of San Buenaventura University as well as the Fray Rafael de la Serna School.
Inside Iglesia de San Benito
Inside the church you will find a beautiful white interior with some gold and tan trim. And the church has wooden pews like most churches in Colombia.
In addition, the church has several simple stained-glass windows.
Furthermore, there are many pieces of religious artwork to be found throughout this church.
And like many other churches in the city, Iglesia de San Benito has confessionals on both the right and left sides.
How to Get to Iglesia de San Benito
The easiest way to get to Iglesia de San Benito is via the Medellin Metro. The church is located about four blocks from the Cisneros metro station on Line B of the Medellín Metro. This is less than a 10-minute walk from the metro station.
This walk from the metro station to the church is through an area of El Centro with many small home improvement stores with prices that can be lower than found in Homecenter. In these small stores you can find many home improvement products including doors, cabinets, sinks, flooring and many other products.
An alternate way to get to the church is via a taxi. Some taxi drivers in Medellín will know where Iglesia de San Benito in El Centro is located. If not, give the driver the address of the church below.
Address: Calle 51 # 56A-76 in El Centro, Medellín
Phone: +57 4 512 8711
Hours: The church is normally open in the early morning until about 12:30. It opens again in the mid-afternoon for additional mass sessions. But we recommend calling to make sure the church will be open when you go.
The Beautiful Churches in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley
In the metropolitan Medellín metro area (Aburrá Valley), there are over 300 Roman Catholic churches. Most notably, there is a complete list of all the churches of the Archdiocese of Medellín.
We have looked at a total of 33 beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area and the Aburrá Valley in a series on this website. And 22 of the churches we have looked at in detail are in Medellín:
- Catedral Basílica Metropolitana – the main church of the Archdiocese of Medellín and the largest church in the city.
- Iglesia de La Candelaria – the oldest church in Medellín, which is also a National Monument of Colombia.
- Iglesia San Antonio and Plaza San Antonio – the church with the largest dome in Medellín located next to Plaza San Antonio with four Fernando Botero sculptures.
- Iglesia Jesús Nazareno – another of the most beautiful churches in Medellín.
- Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro – a beautiful Gothic-style church in Medellín.
- Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús – a neo-Gothic-style church located in Barrio Triste in Medellín.
- Iglesia de San José – a Boroque-style church located in El Centro, Medellín.
- Iglesia del Señor de las Misericordias – a neo-Gothic-style church located in the Manrique neighborhood of Medellín.
- Iglesia San José – a Romanesque-style church located next to Parque Poblado in El Poblado.
- Iglesia de la Veracruz – a colonial church with a history that goes back to 1682, which makes it one of the oldest churches in Medellín.
- Iglesia de San Ignacio – a beautiful church in El Centro with a Baroque-style exterior and colonial interior.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora – a Roman-style church located next to Parque Belén in Medellín.
- Iglesia el Calvario – a Romanesque-style church in the Aranjuez comuna in Medellín.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Sufragio – a neo-Romanesque-style church in the Boston barrio in Medellín.
- Iglesia de San Benito – a neo-Romanesque-style church with a history that traces back to 1678, which make it one of the oldest churches in Medellín.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores – a Neo-Byzantine-style church in the La América comuna in Medellín.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Corazón – a beautiful Neo-Gothic-style church in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín.
- Iglesia de Cristo Rey – a beautiful church in the Guayabal comuna of Medellín with many beautiful stained-glass windows.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores – a beautiful Neoclassical-style church in the Robledo comuna of Medellín, which is also a National Monument of Colombia.
- Iglesia del Cementerio San Pedro – a beautiful church built in 1929 that has some of the most beautiful stained-glass windows found in the churches in Medellín.
- Iglesia de El Niño Jesús de Praga – a beautiful church in the Villa Hermosa comuna in Medellín.
- Iglesia San Joaquín – a beautiful church in the Laureles-Estadio comuna in Medellín that is reportedly the second largest church in Medellín.
Also, we have looked at the principal church in each of the other nine municipalities in the Aburrá Valley:
- Iglesia de Santa Gertrudis – a beautiful church in Envigado located next to Parque Envigado.
- Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a church located in Bello that is arguably the most beautiful church in the Aburrá Valley
- Iglesia de Santa Ana – a very popular church in Sabaneta located next to Parque Sabaneta.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a historic church in Itagüí near Medellín with a history that traces back to 1743.
- Nuestra Señora Chiquinquirá – a beautiful church in La Estrella with a Neo-Gothic-style.
- Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes – a Neoclassical-style church with a history that traces back to 1793 and is located in the Caldas municipality south of Medellín.
- Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción – a Baroque-style church with a history that traces back to 1715 and is located in the Copacabana municipality north of Medellín.
- Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a Neo-Romanesque-style church located in the Girardota municipality northeast of Medellín.
- Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua – a Neo-Romanesque-style church located in the Barbosa municipality northeast of Medellín.
Also, we looked at two smaller colonial-style churches while looking in detail at two nearby larger churches:
- Hato Viejo Chapel – a colonial-style church in Bello built between 1772 and 1796. It’s also a National Monument of Colombia. We looked at Hato Viejo Chapel while covering Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
- Capilla de María Auxiliadora – a colonial-style church in Barbosa built between 1773 and 1776. We looked at Capilla de María Auxiliadora while covering Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua.
In addition, we looked at Las Lajas Sanctuary located in Ipiales, Colombia, which is considered the most beautiful church in Colombia. Also, it’s considered by many to be one of the most beautiful churches in the world.
The Bottom Line: Iglesia de San Benito
Iglesia de San Benito is not found in any of the 10 English language Colombia travel guidebooks that I have. But it’s worth stopping to see this notable Roman Catholic church if you like old and historic churches.
Several of the most notable and beautiful churches in Medellín are located in El Centro like Iglesia de San Benito. But we have also been looking at notable and beautiful churches in other neighborhoods in the Medellín metropolitan area.
Seems like, in my experience, that most of the travel guidebooks in English about Colombia are missing many of the best places in the cities and pueblos in Colombia.
Consequently, we have covered the beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area in a comprehensive series on this website. Most noteworthy, we did this since a majority of the beautiful and notable churches in the city are missing from the English-language travel guidebooks about Colombia.
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