Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua is a notable and historic Roman Catholic church located in the Barbosa municipality northeast of Medellín in the Aburrá Valley, which is worth seeing if you like old and historic churches.
History of Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in Barbosa
In the eighteenth century there were several haciendas in the Barbosa area that had small chapels and competed for a parish separate from Copacabana.
Jerónimo Lara built a small chapel to San Marcos in Graciano in 1747. In 1755, Gregorio Ignacio Hernández created the small chapel of San Gregorio. And in 1773, Gabriel Muñoz built one in his Hacienda Barbosa.
These chapels were small rustic buildings with few ornaments and lacked windows and priests were absent.
So, from 1776 to 1796, on land donated by Gabriel Muñoz, a small Colonial-style church known as María Auxiliadora was built. During the 19th century and about half of the 20th century, it was the main religious center in Barbosa.
But due to inadequate capacity of the small church, the construction of the current Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua began in 1880 at the plaza below (now Simón Bolívar Park). The work was slow due to lack of financial resources, which led the pastor and his immediate successors to resort to alms and gifts.
In 1892, the new church had walls barely complete with unfinished columns. In 1913, 28 windows and the main door were donated by Elías Isaza. In 1919, the main altar was built. And in 1925, they completed the lateral altar, the baptistery, the pulpit and acquired religious art for the church. In 1928, a clock and bell were added to the tower.
But due to faults in the ceiling for the central nave the completion of the church was delayed further. Finally, the construction of the church finished in 1948, which was 68 years after construction started.
On August 18, 1948, Monsignor Garcia, Archbishop of Medellin, ordered the temple to be opened. Since, then, Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua has been the main church in Barbosa.
Inside Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in Barbosa
Inside the church you will find a beautiful white and cream color interior with some gold trim. And the church has wooden pews like most churches in Colombia. The church has three longitudinal naves.
And there are many pieces of religious artwork to be found throughout this church. But some of this religious artwork was covered up during Semana Santa.
In addition, the church has a few simple stained-glass windows.
In addition, like many other churches in the area, Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua has confessionals on both the right and left sides.
How to Get to Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in Barbosa
The easiest way to get to Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua is by using the Medellín Metro. To get there you would take Line A of the metro north to the last metro station of Niquía in Bello.
At the Niquía metro station there are integrated metro buses that use a Civica card and will take you directly to Barbosa. And the buses stop about two blocks from Parque Simón Bolívar. The bus ride to Barbosa is about 35 minutes and the integrated metro fare including the metro and bus is only 3,650 pesos.
Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua is located on one side of Parque Simón Bolívar in Barbosa.
An alternate way to get to the church is via a taxi or Uber from your location or from the Niquía metro station. Most taxi and Uber drivers know where Barbosa is located and the church is located next to main park in Barbosa.
And to return to Medellín, near the park to the west is where you can catch a metro bus back to the Niquía metro station.
Address: Carrera 14 #132, Barbosa
Phone: +57 4 406 5664
Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday: 8:30 am to noon, 2 pm to 5 pm; Sunday: 8:30 am to noon. Closed on Wednesday and most holidays.
Barbosa and Parque Simón Bolívar
Barbosa is a separate municipality in the Aburrá Valley with a population of over 50,000. It is located northeast of Girardota in the valley. And Barbosa is considered the final municipality in the Aburrá Valley metro area, heading northeast.
Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Rosario is located at Parque Simón Bolívar, which is the main park in the Barbosa municipality.
The daily life in Barbosa is typically centered around Parque Simón Bolívar, which is a one square block plaza that has several trees for shade. And the park is surrounded by Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua on one side and several small restaurants, bars and shops on the other sides of the park.
Furthermore, Parque Simón Bolívar is considered by locals to be a convenient place in Barbosa to meet up with friends. And you will typically see many families with kids in the park during the day.
Note there is a second park in Barbosa located two blocks east of Parque Simón Bolívar with the smaller church known as Capilla de María Auxiliadora. This smaller park is known as “parque principal” but it’s not the main park in Barbosa. The larger Parque Simón Bolívar is the main park in Barbosa.
During Semana Santa, Barbosa has Semana Santa processions like you will find in many other pueblos and cities in Colombia.
María Auxiliadora Chapel
Capilla de María Auxiliadora (María Auxiliadora Chapel) is the older colonial-style church located in Barbosa that was built from 1773 to 1776. It’s located two blocks east from Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua at a smaller park.
María Auxiliadora Chapel is still used today but the much larger Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua is the main church in Barbosa.
María Auxiliadora Chapel is a simple Colonial-style that has some religious artwork throughout the church. For example, on the walls of the side aisles are some old paintings representing the Stations of the Cross.
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, Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in Barbosa is not considered part of the Archdiocese of Medellín. This church in Barbosa is considered part of the Girardota 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:
- 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 Antonio de Padua in Barbosa
Barbosa has more to see than the two historic churches in the town. It’s a nice, quick and overlooked getaway from Medellín.
You will find several rivers and springs that cascade down the mountains toward the river, which bisects the town. In addition, Barbosa is a popular retreat for friends and family, where one can rent private properties or fincas in the middle of nature.
The main church, Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in Barbosa 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 and popular 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 in Medellín and other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley like Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua in this article, which is located in the Barbosa municipality, which is northeast 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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