Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador: A Sacred Icon of El Salvador’s Heritage

By Karla  |  Sep 15th, 2022
San Salvador CathedralSan Salvador Cathedral

The San Salvador Cathedral or Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior is the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Salvador; it is home to the San Salvador Archbishop and is located at the heart of the San Salvador Historic District.

Today, the Metropolitan Cathedral has a unique look, way different than your typical Salvadoran-style colonial church. The current church is the third of its kind to serve as the cathedral of the Holy Savior.

First Cathedral.

Workers built the first cathedral around the end of the sixteenth century; at that time, the church was known as the Parish of San Salvador.

Jose Matias Delgado and Nicolas Aguilar, two heroes of Salvadoran independence, guided the new church. Then, in 1873, an earthquake reduced this church to rubble.

Second Cathedral.

The second cathedral opened its door in 1988. Its new location was the former site of the Santo Domingo convent and church, in front of Plaza Gerardo Barrios, its current location.

Locals built the new church using high-quality woods to withstand earthquakes; however, a fire in 1951, reduced the church to ashes.

Third Cathedral.

Lastly, in 1956, workers began laying the foundation for the third cathedral; however, the church was not completed until 1999.

There are many reasons why work on this cathedral took so long to get completed; one, in particular, was the armed conflict of the 1980s.

Metropolitan Cathedral

Visiting the San Salvador Cathedral.

People from all over the country and international tourists visit this cathedral for many different reasons. The most popular reasons why people visit are the location, history, faith, and Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s crypt.

SEE ALSO: Exploring El Salvador Culture: Embracing Vibrant Customs and Traditions with Warm-hearted People

The location.

The San Salvador Cathedral is located right in the middle of one of the most touristic locations in the capital, the San Salvador Historic District .

Visitors travel to this location, not only to see the cathedral but to enjoy everything else that is around. At this location, you will find beautiful plazas, historic buildings, excellent gastronomy, museums, and much more.

History of the San Salvador Cathedral and the area.

The Metropolitan Cathedral and the surrounding area have a fantastic history that goes back to colonial times, or even before.

If you want to learn about Salvadoran History, this is the right place to do it. The Cathedral and the area have been at the center of many historical events that have shaped the country.

The faith.

Undoubtedly, many people visit the Cathedral because of their faith. Catholics from all walks of life, local and foreign, go to the cathedral and pray to the divine savior of the world.

The Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s crypt.

Salvadorans and foreigners visit the Salvador cathedral so they can observe Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s crypt.

Many of these visitors go to the crypt because of faith and to pray. Nevertheless, some people, who are not religious, visit because of the history surrounding Saint Oscar Romero and what he did for the country.

The Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s crypt is a top destination at the Metropolitan Cathedral; therefore, if you ever get the chance, you should visit it.

San Salvador Cathedral

San Salvador Cathedral.

To sum up, the Metropolitan Cathedral is a beautiful modern church located in the historic district of San Salvador. Because of its location, its history, and everything that it represents, the San Salvador Cathedral is worth visiting.