Iglesia San Joaquín is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located in the San Joaquín barrio of the Laureles-Estadio comuna in Medellín, which is worth seeing if you like historic churches.

This Roman Catholic church, also known as Parroquia de San Joaquín, is reportedly the second largest church in Medellín. And this Byzantine-style church is full of many beautiful stained-glass windows and pieces of religious artwork. This church is quite impressive to see.

A reader of the Medellin Guru website recommended this church to me. And when I visited this church my impression is that it’s definitely one of the most beautiful churches I have seen in Medellín.

The above photo is the central nave inside Iglesia San Joaquín.

In addition, we included Iglesia San Joaquín in our list of the top 14 churches in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley.

Iglesia San Joaquín

Iglesia San Joaquín

Medellin Guru’s Popular Church Series

Over the last seven months the Medellin Guru website has been covering the most beautiful churches in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley in a series on this site.

We looked at a total of 33 churches in this series. And this is the most comprehensive look at Medellín’s churches by any English-language website that I am aware of.

In conducting research of churches, I visited over 75 churches in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley and took over 1,200 photos. The reason for doing this series is that unfortunately the travel guidebooks in English about Colombia and Medellín are missing most of the beautiful churches in the Medellín metro area.

Iglesia San Joaquín may be the last church covered in this series. While there are several additional beautiful churches in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley, I feel we have covered the most beautiful and most important churches in this series. But if another notable church worth covering is found, we’ll add it.

Our church series has been very popular with readers with a total of over 85,000 page views and over 17,000 shares of all the church articles in the series.

The façade of Iglesia San Joaquín

The façade of Iglesia San Joaquín

History of Iglesia San Joaquín

Iglesia San Joaquín (also known as Parroquia de San Joaquín) is located in the San Joaquín barrio of the Laureles-Estadio comuna in Medellín.

This barrio is adjacent to the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) university campus west of the Medellín river.

Also, this barrio used to be named Los Libertadores that was started by the now non-existent Instituto de Crédito Territorial (ICT). In 1953, the first houses in the Los Libertadores neighborhood were built.

Residents in this neighborhood reportedly used to go to church at the UPB campus nearby. But parish priest Jorge González wanted to build a church for the Los Libertadores neighborhood.

Land for a new church was donated by ICT and the local community began to raise funds for a new church through bazaars and other means. Reportedly a small improvised chapel was built in the early 1950s where masses where held before the large church was completed. But they raised funds to build a very large church.

Finally, by 1960, Iglesia San Joaquín was reportedly inaugurated by Joaquín Ordóñez, archbishop of Medellín.

Also, local taxi drivers started using San Joaquín as the name of the neighborhood because the large church became a landmark. So, the Los Libertadores neighborhood adopted San Joaquín as the name of the barrio.

The main alter in the church

The main alter in the church

Inside Iglesia San Joaquín

Inside the church you will find a beautiful grey and brick interior. And the church has wooden pews like most of the churches in Colombia. In addition, the church has three longitudinal naves.

Iglesia San Joaquín has a many beautiful stained-glass windows that were designed in Colombia.

One of the beautiful stained-glass windows in Iglesia San Joaquín

One of the beautiful stained-glass windows in Iglesia San Joaquín

Another of the stained-glass windows in the church

Another of the stained-glass windows in the church

Another of the many stained-glass windows

Another of the many stained-glass windows

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

One of the many religious artwork pieces in the church

One of the many religious artwork pieces in the church

Another religious artwork piece

Another religious artwork piece

Additional artwork in the church

Additional artwork in the church

Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá painting

Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá painting

The church also has an organ that is reportedly the second largest organ in Colombia.

The large organ in Iglesia San Joaquín

The large organ in Iglesia San Joaquín

Also, like many other churches in the area, Iglesia San Joaquín has confessionals on both the right and left sides.

One of the confessionals in the church

One of the confessionals in the church

Location of Iglesia San Joaquín

How to Get Iglesia San Joaquín

Iglesia San Joaquín is located in the San Joaquín barrio of the Laureles-Estadio comuna.

There is no Medellín metro station close to the church, the nearest metro station is Estadio station on Line B, which is located about a 15-minute walk to the church. A taxi from the metro station to the church should be about minimum fare (5,400 pesos).

Also, the church is located about a 15-minute walk from the Unicentro mall in Laureles.

An alternate way to get to the church is via a taxi or Uber from your location in the metro area. Many drivers will know where this large church is located. If not, give the driver the address of the church below.

And it is relatively easy to catch a taxi on the streets near the church to return.

Address: Carrera 69 # C5-05 – San Joaquín barrio in Laureles-Estadio, Medellín

Phone: +57 4 230 8160

Email: sanjoaquin@arqmedellin.co

Hours: The church is normally open in the mornings for mass and again later in the afternoon for mass. But we recommend calling to make sure the church is open.

The right side of Iglesia San Joaquín

The right side of Iglesia San Joaquín

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:

  1. Catedral Basílica Metropolitana – the main church of the Archdiocese of Medellín and the largest church in the city.
  2. Iglesia de La Candelaria – the oldest church in Medellín, which is also a National Monument of Colombia.
  3. 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.
  4. Iglesia Jesús Nazareno – another of the most beautiful churches in Medellín.
  5. Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro – a beautiful Gothic-style church in Medellín.
  6. Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús – a neo-Gothic-style church located in Barrio Triste in Medellín.
  7. Iglesia de San José – a Boroque-style church located in El Centro, Medellín.
  8. Iglesia del Señor de las Misericordias – a neo-Gothic-style church located in the Manrique neighborhood of Medellín.
  9. Iglesia San José – a Romanesque-style church located next to Parque Poblado in El Poblado.
  10. 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.
  11. Iglesia de San Ignacio – a beautiful church in El Centro with a Baroque-style exterior and colonial interior.
  12. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora – a Roman-style church located next to Parque Belén in Medellín.
  13. Iglesia el Calvario – a Romanesque-style church in the Aranjuez comuna in Medellín.
  14. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Sufragio – a neo-Romanesque-style church in the Boston barrio in Medellín.
  15. 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.
  16. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores – a Neo-Byzantine-style church in the La América comuna in Medellín.
  17. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Corazón – a beautiful Neo-Gothic-style church in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín.
  18. Iglesia de Cristo Rey – a beautiful church in the Guayabal comuna of Medellín with many beautiful stained-glass windows.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Iglesia de El Niño Jesús de Praga – a beautiful church in the Villa Hermosa comuna in Medellín.
  22. 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:

  1. Iglesia de Santa Gertrudis – a beautiful church in Envigado located next to Parque Envigado.
  2. Iglesia Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a church located in Bello that is arguably the most beautiful church in the Aburrá Valley
  3. Iglesia de Santa Ana – a very popular church in Sabaneta located next to Parque Sabaneta.
  4. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a historic church in Itagüí near Medellín with a history that traces back to 1743.
  5. Nuestra Señora Chiquinquirá – a beautiful church in La Estrella with a Neo-Gothic-style.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Rosario – a Neo-Romanesque-style church located in the Girardota municipality northeast of Medellín.
  9. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Inside Iglesia San Joaquín looking back at the organ and front doors.

Inside Iglesia San Joaquín looking back at the organ and front doors.

The Bottom Line: Iglesia San Joaquín

Iglesia San Joaquín in the Laureles-Estadio comuna 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 beautiful churches with stained-glass windows.

Several of the most notable and beautiful churches in the Medellín area are located in El Centro in Medellín. But we have also been looking at notable and beautiful churches in other neighborhoods in Medellín like Iglesia San Joaquín in this article, which is located in the Laureles-Estadio comuna of Medellín.

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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