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.

The façade of Iglesia de San Benito

The façade of Iglesia de San Benito

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.

Iglesia de San Benito

Iglesia de San Benito

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.

The main alter in Iglesia de San Benito

The main alter in Iglesia de San Benito

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.

One of the simple stained-glass windows in the church

One of the simple stained-glass windows in the church

Another stained-glass window in the church

Another stained-glass window in the church

Furthermore, there are many pieces of religious artwork to be found throughout this church.

One of many religious artwork pieces in the church

One of many religious artwork pieces in the church

Another of many religious artwork pieces in the church

Another of many religious artwork pieces in the church

Another religious artwork piece in the church

Another religious artwork piece in the church

And another religious artwork piece in the church

And another religious artwork piece in the church

And like many other churches in the city, Iglesia de San Benito has confessionals on both the right and left sides.

Confessional in the church

Confessional in the church

Location of Iglesia de San Benito

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 or Uber.  Some taxi or Uber 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

Email: sanbenito@arqmedellin.co

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.

Inside Inside Iglesia de San Benito

Inside Inside Iglesia de San Benito

The Beautiful Churches in Medellín

In the metropolitan Medellín area, there are over 300 Roman Catholic churches. Most notably, a complete list of churches for the Archdiocese of Medellín can be found here.

We have looked at 19 other beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area in a series on this website:

  1. Catedral Basílica Metropolitana – the main church of the Archdiocese of Medellín and the largest church in the city.
  2. Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a church located in Bello that is arguably the most beautiful church in the Medellín metro area.
  3. Iglesia de La Candelaria – the oldest church in Medellín.
  4. 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.
  5. Iglesia Jesús Nazareno – another of the most beautiful churches in Medellín.
  6. Iglesia de Santa Gertrudis – a beautiful church in Envigado located next to Parque Envigado.
  7. Iglesia de Santa Ana – a very popular church in Sabaneta located next to Parque Sabaneta.
  8. Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro – a beautiful Gothic-style church in Medellín.
  9. Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús – a beautiful neo-Gothic-style church located in Barrio Triste in Medellín.
  10. Iglesia de San José – a beautiful Boroque-style church located in El Centro, Medellín.
  11. Iglesia del Señor de las Misericordias – a beautiful neo-Gothic-style church located in the Manrique neighborhood of Medellín.
  12. Iglesia San José – a beautiful Romanesque-style church located next to Parque Poblado in El Poblado.
  13. Iglesia de la Veracruz – a beautiful colonial church with a history that goes back to 1682, which makes it one of the oldest churches in Medellín.
  14. Iglesia de San Ignacio– a beautiful church in El Centro with a Baroque-style exterior and colonial interior.
  15. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora – a beautiful Roman-style church located next to Parque Belén in Medellín.
  16. Nuestra Señora Chiquinquirá – a beautiful church in La Estrella with a Neo-Gothic-style.
  17. Iglesia el Calvario – a beautiful Romanesque-style church in the Aranjuez comuna in Medellín.
  18. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Sufragio – a beautiful neo-Romanesque-style church in the Boston barrio in Medellín.
  19. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores – a beautiful Neo-Byzantine-style church in the La América comuna in Medellín.

We also have looked at Las Lajas Sanctuary located in Ipiales, Colombia, which is considered the most beautiful church in Colombia. It’s also considered by many to be one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

Inside Iglesia de San Benito

Inside Iglesia de San Benito

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 been covering the beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area in a series on this website. Most noteworthy, we are doing this since a majority of the beautiful and notable churches in the city are missing from the English-language travel guidebooks about Colombia.

We have looked at 20 churches in the Aburrá Valley in our Medellín church series. And we plan to cover a few more of the beautiful and historic churches in the Medellín area.