The most famous landmarks in El Salvador are the Divine Savior of the World Monument, The National Cathedral, The National Palace, The Santa Ana Cathedral, Plaza Gerardo Barrios, Plaza Libertad, Coatepeque Lake, the Cathedral of San Miguel, and El Rosario Church.
These are some of the most recognizable landmarks in the country; obviously, many others could have made this list. El Salvador is home to numerous iconic landmarks, which include monuments, places of historical interest, natural parks, colonial churches, colonial towns, and many others.
Here is my list of the most famous landmarks in El Salvador with some information about each of them. But, keep in mind that this is my list; my own personal opinion on their importance or rank.
Divine Savior of the World Monument.
By far, one of the most iconic landmarks in the country, it is located in the El Salvador del Mundo Plaza in San Salvador.
Placed on top of a pedestal is a statue of Jesus Christ standing on top of a global sphere of planet earth. The Landmark in honor of the Divine Savior of the World; patron of the nation’s capital is a symbol that identifies and represents both El Salvador and Salvadorans everywhere in the world.
Here is a bit of recent history for this Landmark. During the 1986 earthquake, the statue collapsed and broke into several pieces. When the restoration was finished, and the statue was placed back into its original place; it became a symbol of hope and faith for all Salvadorans.
The National Cathedral.
This Historic Landmark sits in the downtown San Salvador historic district, it is one of the main attractions of the newly renovated downtown.
This church, first built at the end of the sixteenth century, has twice been destroyed, first by an earthquake in 1873 and then by fire in 1951. This cathedral is visited by many people, some do it to appreciate the artwork, design, and history, while others visit because of religious fate.
As of late, the biggest attraction at this cathedral is the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the most recognizable religious figure in the country, now a saint. If you are ever in El Salvador, visit the National Cathedral; at this Landmark, you will get to learn a lot about the history and culture of the country.
The National Palace of El Salvador.
The National Palace is a classical building located in the historic district of San Salvador.
During most of the 1900s, the major branches of the Salvadoran government used The National Palace as governmental offices.
The most important rooms or main rooms in the palace were painted in different colors, each color represented a branch of the government.
The Pink Room housed the Supreme Court, the Yellow Room was the president’s office, and the Blue Room was the meeting place of the Legislature of El Salvador.
This historic landmark is a must-see when visiting the historic downtown, it’s full of Salvadoran history. If you want to know more about the National Palace or the historic district, visit the San Salvador historic district page!
The Santa Ana Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Our Lady Saint Anne or “La Catedral de la Señora Santa Ana” in Spanish is a spectacular neo-Gothic cathedral located in the city of Santa Ana.
Every year, many local and international tourists visit this magnificent cathedral; some visit because of their faith and others because of the architectural design and history associated with the church.
As a landmark, the Cathedral of Santa Ana is more than a stunning infrastructure; it is a special place that keeps the culture and the religiosity of a city alive.
Furthermore, the cathedral is located at the beautiful historic center of Santa Ana, surrounded by many of the main buildings in the town, such as the Mayor’s office and the Santa Ana theater.
If you want to learn more about this fantastic landmark, visit the City of Santa Ana page.
Plaza Gerardo Barrios.
Plaza Gerardo Barrios is located at the heart of the historic district in San Salvador. The square is a landmark of San Salvadoran and the entire country. Some of the most symbolic buildings in the country surround this plaza; such as the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Theater.
The statue and the plaza in honor of President General Gerardo Barrios; is a point of reference within the historic center of the capital. This Landmark has witnessed some significant events in it’s history; the most recent are:
- The riots of 1980 during the funeral of Bishop Oscar Romero, murdered six days earlier during mass by a sniper.
- The celebration of the end of the Civil War in 1992.
- The presidential transfer of power to newly elected president Nayib Bukele in June 2019.
Plaza Libertad – Famous Landmark in El Salvador.
Plaza Libertad or Liberty Plaza is at the heart of the city of San Salvador. It is a large open space with a statue commemorating the independence of El Salvador.
It was precisely from this site where what is now the nation’s capital of San Salvador began; in the mid-16th century.
The name Liberty Plaza is in honor of the Central American independence from Spain. currently, this plaza is used to perform many civic events; especially on independence day in El Salvador, which is September 15th.
Furthermore, Liberty Plaza is a pleasant place to take a stroll, sunbathe, hang out, take photos, or simply enjoy the day.
This astonishing volcanic caldera was formed due to volcanic eruptions between 72,000 and 57,000 years ago.
This lake, considered one of the most beautiful in Central America, is located about 18 kilometers south of the city of Santa Ana in the municipality of El Congo.
The lake is an ideal place to practice ecotourism like mountain biking, fishing, diving, camping, and much more.
Coatepeque Lake is one of the most recognized landmarks in the country. To know more about this caldera, visit the Lake Coatepeque page.
Izalco volcano, also known as the lighthouse of the Pacific, is a famous landmark located in the Cerro Verde National Park.
This Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Central America since 1770 it has erupted more than 50 times.
This volcano is one of the most popular in the country, every year, local and foreign tourists visit this volcano to relish its magnitude or hike to the summit.
To know more about this landmark, visit the Izalco volcano page.
Cathedral of San Miguel.
In the western part of the country, in the city of San Miguel, is the Cathedral Basilica of Queen of Peace or Catedral Basílica Reina de la Paz in Spanish.
Unquestionably, the Cathedral of San Miguel is an architectural jewel and the pride and joy of the citizens in this city.
If you plan to visit this city for its festivities in November, do not forget to visit this Landmark.
El Rosario Church.
In my opinion, this church is a landmark because of it’s non-descriptive concrete exterior and astonishing interior.
Basically, from the outside, the church looks more like an airplane hangar than a church. However, once you go inside, you will witness the arched roof and natural light rushing in like a rainbow across the altar, and bouncing off the metal and rock.
This unusual landmark is part of the main attractions in the San Salvador historic downtown.
To summarize, El Salvador has many landmarks, some of them could have been included in this list; however, I focused only on the most popular and well-known.
Undoubtedly, these landmarks are a good reason to travel to El Salvador. But, if you are on the fence about visiting, here are some more reasons as to why visit El Salvador.