Jan. 22, 2019 – San Salvador – We spent three hours Monday touring San Salvador and learning its history. The most beautiful place was inside Iglesia El Rosario; described as “one of the finest churches in Central America.”
The main street entrance of the church, across from Libertad Plaza, is locked. The exterior of the church reminds me of the old Bradley Center.
You have to turn the corner to find a narrow brick walkway located past a black metal gate and that leads to a side door to get into the church.
The concrete facade of the church is unassuming compared to what you encounter as you cross the threshold.
The arched interior features tiers of stained glass that cast a brilliant rainbow of light throughout the building.
The church, completed in 1971, was designed by sculptor Ruben Martinez.
There are quite a few well-thought-out intricacies regarding the interior design; one in particular has a very Indiana-Jones flare.
Across from the altar the wall is sectioned off in small blocks of stained glass. When the sun hits it just right the beam of light comes through the center “eye of God” and shines perfectly on the crucifix of Christ on the opposite wall.
There are a couple of other nuggets of history at Iglesia El Rosario including bullet holes in the concrete facade of the building; remnants from the civil war of the 1980s.
To the right of the altar on the floor is a stone marker; this is where 24 people are buried. They were killed by police October 29, 1979 during an anti-government protest that happened in the town square across the street. According to an article by the BBC,
“Witnesses said the steps of the cathedral were littered with bodies. Freelance photographer Ken Hawkins told the Los Angeles Times there had been no warning from government forces before the shooting started. “There was a continual burst of very heavy fire for about two and a half minutes,” he said. “People started screaming and running to the church but many were hit before they could get there.”
At the other end of the church is an abstract version of the Stations of the Cross. Only the hands and arms are used to represent Christ. The metal used for the sculptures was material that remained following construction of the church.
Updates & tidbits
-I have gotten David and Nancy Slinde from West Bend to do quite a few things on this tour. Photos are always better when we know someone in them. There are a LOT of armed guards in El Salvador/San Salvador. This fella was in the street market outside the church. A majority of the officers/security I have seen do have large shotguns. I’m told “if” they do shoot… the security guards are the ones that go to jail. Confused? Me, too….
-On Tuesday we meet up with folks from Habitat for Humanity and later in the week we attend the school the Slinde’s have helped grow education with books, roofs, and more. Nancy has such a pile of crayons to donate they broke the handle of the bag. (Of course, this happened at the airport…. but we make due. No crayons have been harmed during transport.)
-Our tour guide today was Arnoldo Carcamo from Trip Time El Salvador Tours. He was FABULOUS! Very knowledgeable, respectful and he picked up on our groove right away taking us to the city centre, churches and a bank museum.
-This is Leonor. She is the grand dame of Hotel Mariscal where we are staying. Her name carries such integrity and trust that there are four generations of Lenore’s at the hotel. That bombshell painting in the background is Lenore in her youth. We’ll post more in the coming days.
-Day 3 and our luggage finally arrived in the late afternoon. “I love my wife but I sure do love my lost luggage,” said David.
Click HERE to read more about the Adventure in El Salvador.
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