La Basílica

During our wanderings in the Old Town yesterday we visited the Basílica del Voto Nacional. This giant church was constructed starting in 1892 in a neo-gothic style and is absolutely beautiful. Having just visited Notre Dame, we were not expecting to be so wowed by this South American church, but between the impressive architecture and the fact that we could wander around all the different nooks and crannies, the three hours we spent there were incredible.

There were several weddings going on while we were exploring the basilica. It was fun to see the brides on their special day, not to mention watch them walk down the cobblestone street in their heels after the ceremonies were over.

The two of us in front of the rose window.
There were no guards or tour guides or any such authority type of figure around the church. This was both good and bad. The lack of guards has unfortunately allowed people to deface the church by writing their names on practically any available surface. On the other hand, it is pretty cool to be able to get right up next to things like this massive stained glass window!

The sanctuary from the level of the rose window.
Do you see the bride and groom down there?

A view of Old Town with the virgen de las Americas overlooking the city.

We were really high up!!
There was an elevator that took us to the third level (already pretty high), then a stone stairway up a few more levels, then a metal spiral staircase up a few more levels and we reached the last few levels by metal ladder!

A view from one of the spires. I am pretty positive that Alex took this picture because I was too terrified to let go of the railing to reach for my camera! I am really developing a fear of heights the more often we climb to the top of these old churches!

We walked across the roof of the sanctuary!
In order to get from the main facade of the church to the tower on the other side, we used this wooden path that went straight across the length of the sanctuary. It was a little nerve wracking, but also cool to think that there were people below us who didn’t even know we were up there!

Alex likes to torture me.

That’s the back of the main facade behind us and waaaay in the background you can see the virgen de las Americas up on the hill!

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