The El Rosario Church in San Salvador. Amazing modern temple.

El Rosario Church is not your traditional style Salvadoran church that you usually see all over the country.

Famous landmarks in El Salvador
 November 2, 2020   By Eddie Galdamez

El Rosario Church or Iglesia del Rosario is a modern catholic church located in the San Salvador Historic District. El Rosario has a modern architectural design that breaks away from the traditional style of Salvadoran catholic churches.

From the outside, the church looks more like an airport hangar or a concrete bunker than a worship house. This church is recognized as one of the iconic structures of the emblematic San Salvador historic district.

The ideal time to visit El Rosario is early in the morning or late afternoon when the light, reflected from the stained glass, has the most dramatic effect.

Iglesia El Rosario San Salvador
Iglesia El Rosario. Photo by BelenM

Information and History of El Rosario Church.

The El Rosario Church was completed in 1971. In the beginning, the church design was controversial; it didn’t fit your traditional Catholic Salvadoran church. In the end, the church’s plans were approved by the Vatican and not the Salvadoran archdiocese.

Today, this church, designed by sculptor Ruben Martinez, is one of the most unique and memorable landmarks in the nation’s capital and the country.

The church is located on the original site of San Salvador’s catholic parish. The original church was built by priest and independence hero José Matías Delgado in the eighteenth century.

It is believed that Jose Matias Delgado, generally thought to be the father of El Salvador’s independence, is buried at this church.

The church that was built with wood was consumed by fire. Therefore, in 1962, the new church’s design was assigned to the architect and sculptor Ruben Martinez.

El Rosario Church is also the resting place of independence heroes and brothers: Nicolas, Vicente, and Manuel Aguilar. This church is a cultural property protected under the Hague Convention. Furthermore, a Legislative Decree in 1972 gave it the status of a Historic Site.

El Rosario Church
Photo by Alex Romero

The iconic Church.

The outside of El Rosario Church is a nondescript concrete building. It definitely looks more like a traditional airport hangar or a military concrete bunker rather than a church. Many people have said that the building is ugly on the outside but magnificent on the inside.

There are many reasons why this church is often referred to as beautiful on the inside. For example, the church has no columns or pillars found in traditional Salvadoran churches. So, you will have an unobstructed view of the altar and everything else from any point inside the church.

The stained-glass windows bring a rainbow of natural light that rushes across the altar and ricochets off the metal and rock found within the walls. In other words, the stained glass windows give light, color, and character to the otherwise gloomy interior.

Location of the El Rosario Church.

The iconic church is located in the San Salvador historic district on the east side of Plaza Libertad. El Rosario Church is part of the downtown area that houses some of the most beautiful buildings and historical plazas in El Salvador.

El Rosario Church

Iglesia El Rosario, San Salvador.

Undoubtedly, the El Rosario Church is one of the best churches in El Salvador; it is an icon of modern architecture in the Capital City. It stands out from other churches, not because of its history but because of its modern striking look.

If you ever get to be in the San Salvador historic district, stop by and explore this church. Its soaring space layered with multiple rows of stained glass that flood the inside with color and give it an impressive light effect is worth visiting.

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