Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located in the La América comuna in Medellín, which is worth seeing if you like old and historic churches.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores is a church with a history that traces back to 1869. In addition, it’s a Neo-Byzantine-style church that has many pieces of religious artwork.
Note there are at least three other churches in Medellín with the same name of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, which are located in Robledo, Sabaneta and La Estancias (in the Villa Hermosa comuna). This article is about the Nuestra Señora de los Dolores church located in La América.
History of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores’ history can be traced back to 1869. In 1869, Rafael Velásquez requested permission to build a church in La América, as the existing parishes in Belén and Robledo were considered to be too far from La América. And a permit was granted in April 1869 by Bishop Valerio Antonio Jiménez to build a new church.
Construction of the church began on land donated by Velásquez, who had requested permission to build the church. So, a small church that was 24 meters long by 7.2 meters wide was built. And the parish priests of Belén and Robledo reportedly alternated to celebrate mass at the church every eight days.
For several years, the inhabitants of La América tried to obtain their own parish with a first petition in December 1886. But the bishop at the time was very demanding for adding additional parishes.
It wasn’t until 1898, that a decree was issued by Bishop Pardo Vergara that permitted the creation of the parish of La America. And the decree appointed as patroness Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. In addition, Felix Antonio Urrea H. was appointed as the first parish priest.
With the passage of time, the need to build a new, larger and more comfortable church was seen. Finally, on October 26, 1916, José María Gómez blessed and placed the first stone of the current church, located just in front of the chapel that was built by Rafael Velásquez.
This work was achieved slowly over the next several years using plans of the Belgian architect Agustín Goovaerts. In the beginning, they had to overcome great economic difficulties for building the church, even needing to suspend construction for a few years. Local housewives reportedly made empanadas to collect funds for the church. And inhabitants of the neighborhood also helped with the construction.
In 1979, there was an earthquake that affected the structure of the church. And it had to be restored. To fund the restoration, a loan was received from the Institute of Pastoral Action of the Archdiocese.
However, once the restoration project was completed and on the eve of presidential elections for the period 1982-1986, a bomb unfortunately exploded in the church, causing damage to the columns at the entrance. So additional restoration work was required.
Inside Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores
Inside the church you will find a beautiful white interior with some gold and burgundy trim. And the church has wooden pews like most churches in Colombia.
In addition, the church has several very simple stained-glass windows and one fancy stained-glass window.
Furthermore, there are many pieces of religious artwork to be found throughout this church.
And like many other churches in the city, Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores has confessionals on both the right and left sides.
How to Get to Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores
The easiest way to get to Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in La América is via the Medellin Metro. And the church is located about 11 blocks from the Santa Lucía metro station on Line B of the Medellín Metro.
The church is located about a 15-minute walk from the metro station. Or you could catch a minimum fare (5,500 pesos) taxi from the metro station.
An alternate way to get to the church is via a taxi. Some taxi drivers in Medellín will know where Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in La América is located. If not, give the driver the address of the church below.
Address: Carrera 84 # 44-87 in La América, Medellín
Phone: +57 4 252 1347
Hours: The church is normally open in the early morning until about noon. And 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 Nuestra Señora de los Dolores
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores 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. But we have also been looking at notable and beautiful churches in other neighborhoods in the Medellín metropolitan area like Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, which is located in La América.
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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