Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located in the Caldas municipality south of Medellín, which is worth seeing if you like old and historic churches.

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is a church with a history that traces back to 1793. The church is also known as Catedral de Caldas. In addition, it’s an Neoclassical-style church that has many beautiful stained-glass windows and pieces of religious artwork.

Note there is another church named Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes located in the Florida Nueva barrio in Medellín. So, don’t be confused, this article is only about Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which is located in Caldas.

Note the above photo is the central nave in the church during mass.

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

History of Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Caldas

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is located in the municipality of Caldas in the department of Antioquia directly south of La Estrella. Caldas is located on a high plateau with the church as major landmark that is part of the landscape of the Caldas urban area.

The church was built during the colonial period in Colombia. It was reportedly built from the period 1793 to 1804 by Roque Mejía, who founded the municipality of Caldas where it is located.

This church is the principal church in Caldas. And it was elevated to the category of cathedral on April 20, 1899 by Pope Paul VI.

There aren’t many churches in Colombia categorized as a “cathedral”.  For example, out of the over 300 churches in the Archdiocese of Medellín, only one is categorized as a cathedral – Cathedral Basílica Metropolitana.

The central nave in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

The central nave in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

Inside Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Caladas

Inside the church you will find a beautiful white colored interior with some gold and burgundy trim. And the church has wooden pews like most churches in Colombia.

The church has three longitudinal naves. In addition, the church has several beautiful stained-glass windows throughout the church.

Stained-glass window in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

Stained-glass window in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

Another stained-glass window in the church

Another stained-glass window in the church

And another stained-glass window

And another stained-glass window

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

Religious artwork in the church

Religious artwork in the church

More religious artwork in the church

More religious artwork in the church

Another of the many pieces of religious artwork

Another of the many pieces of religious artwork

There are many more pieces of religious artwork like this

There are many more pieces of religious artwork like this

And like many other churches in the area, Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes 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 Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

How to Get to Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

The easiest way to get to Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is via a combination of the Medellín Metro and taxi or bus. To get there you can take Line A of the metro south to the La Estrella metro station.

La Estrella metro station

La Estrella metro station

At the La Estrella metro station there are metro buses that go to Parque Caldas where the church is located for a fare of only 2,700 pesos. The metro buses to Caldas are lined up immediately southwest of the metro station.  The buses take 15-20 minutes to get to Parque Caldas.

Lined up metro buses to Caldas

Lined up metro buses to Caldas

There are also taxis available at the metro station that can take you to Parque Caldas.

An alternate way to get to the church is via a taxi or Uber from your location. Many taxi or Uber drivers in Medellín will know where Parque principal de Caldas is located. If not, give the driver the address of the church below.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/catedraldecaldas16/

Address: Carrera 40 # 129Sur-50, Parque principal de Caldas

Phone: +57 4 278 0060

Email: catedralcaldas@yahoo.com

Hours: The church has a mass schedule as follows:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 7 am, 8 am, noon and 6 pm
  • Wednesday: 7 am, 8 am and 6 pm
  • Saturday: 7 am, 8 am, noon, 6 pm and 7 pm
  • Sunday: 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, 10 am, 11 am, noon, 6 pm and 7:30 pm.

So, the doors to the church are normally open in the early morning and close after the noon mass (or after the 8 am mass on Wednesday) and reopen for the early evening mass.

Parque Caldas

Parque Caldas

Parque Caldas

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is located at Parque Caldas, which is the principal park in the Caldas municipality.

Caldas is a separate municipality in the Aburrá Valley with a population of over 55,000. And it’s located south of La Estrella, which is south of Medellín.

The daily life for many locals in Caldas is typically centered around Parque Caldas, which is a one square block plaza that has a number of trees for shade. In addition, this park is surrounded by several small restaurants, bars, shops and a few hotels. 

Parque Caldas - one of the nicest parks in the Aburrá Valley

Parque Caldas – one of the nicest parks in the Aburrá Valley

Parque Caldas is one of the nicest parks I have been to in the Aburrá Valley. And Parque Caldas is considered by locals to be a convenient place in Caldas to meet up with friends.

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.

However, Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Caldas is not considered part of the Archdiocese of Medellín. This church in Caldas is considered the episcopal headquarters of the Caldas Diocese.

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.

The main alter in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

The main alter in Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

The Bottom Line Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Caldas

Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in Caldas 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 the Medellín area are located in El Centro in Medellín. But we have also been looking at notable and beautiful churches in other neighborhoods and municipalities in the Aburrá Valley like Catedral Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes in this article, which is located in the southern Caldas municipality.

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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