Church of Our Lady of Pilar, San Vicente
The historical and impressive Church of Our Lady of Pilar is an architectural treasure of San Vicente.
This temple has witnessed important events that have occurred in the last centuries. This church is situated across the Alvaro Quiñones Osorio Park. He was the founder of this province.
The origins of this temple go back to a peculiar event that has become a popular anecdote at San Vicente.
Jose Merino, devoted to the Virgen del Pilar, was attacked three times by his jealous wife Manuela de Arce who wanted to stab him during his sleep. Her attempts failed because the religious image of Virgen del Pilar moved every time Manuela tried to kill her husband. On the last attempt, Manuela regained her sanity.
After this event, Merino wanted to build a chapel in honor of the Virgin of El Pilar. In 1762 he died and did not the complete his work. His wife continued the construction with the help of Francisco Quintanilla.
Quintanilla died two years after starting the project and his daughter Michelle took over it. She concluded the temple in 1769, when it was blessed on December 12th.
It is said that the temple had a very rich gold decorations and the crown of the Virgin Mary was invaluable.
However, San Vicente suffered important indigenous uprisings. This frightened the wealthy inhabitants who placed their jewelry inside the temple, hoping that the church would be respected.
On February 15th 1833, Anastasio Aquino and his followers invaded the temple. It is said that his companions robbed and damaged the altars and images rolled on the floor until Aquino took the crown of the statue of St. Joseph and proclaimed himself “King of the Nonualcos”. Later Aquino was arrested and executed for his actions.
The temple it is made with clay bricks, some parts have been replaced by cement brick.
This temple was severely damaged due to the earthquakes in 2001, restoration work was carried out from 2004 to 2008. In addition, a new church adjacent to the original was erected for church activities.
In this church you may appreciate beautiful details of Baroque style, an impressive wooden altar and beautiful ancient imagery.
In the crypt lie the remains of Quintanilla family and the prominent independence hero Jose Simeon Cañas, buried on March 4, 1838. He is known as the liberator of the slaves in Central America. Another important figure buried in this church is Dr. Antonio José Cañas and other distinguished people of San Vicente.
The church was declared a National Monument in February 1953 and is cultural property protected under the Hague Convention of 1954.
Come and discover these architectural treasures of this stunning corner of eastern El Salvador.
How to get there
Address: Crescencio Miranda Avenues # 2, San Vicente. The Church in front of Alvaro Quinones Osorio square in the vicinity of the Casa de la Cultura de San Vicente.
Drive from San Salvador east towards San Miguel using the Pan American Highway (CA-1). Or take the coastal highway (Coastal Highway) you should see the signs diverting to the city of San Vicente at both roads. It is 90 minutes drive.
Bus: from Terminal East (East Terminal), San Salvador to San Vicente: Route 116 from US$ 0.90 (regularl bus) to US$ 1.60 (special bus).
Phone: (503) 2393-0238
http://www.elsalvadorahora.com / departamento_de_san_vicente.html
http://www.alcaldiadesanvicente.gob.sv / monumentos.html
http://elsalvador.pordescubrir.com / ethnography-churches-colonial-church-of-pilar.html
Height 1301 feet
N 13 ° 38,582 ‘
In 88 ° 47,118 ‘
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