Popayan’s Belen Chapel (PHOTOS)

The Belen chapel, located in the city of Popayan in Colombia’s south-west, is worth a visit for the spectacular views alone, nevermind the church itself.

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Located high up on a hill east of downtown, the churchyard affords lovely views of the city center and particularly of the Basilica of Our Lady of Assumption.

To reach the church, visitors must trek up the “quingos of Bethlehem,” a road of stone steps lined with impressive statues depicting scenes of the passion of the Christ.

Pilgrims to the church may be slightly disappointed by its simple design, but as the guardian of Santo Ecce Homo, the patron saint of Popayan, the church remains an important cultural and historical symbol for locals.

Construction of the church began in 1681 but the original building was destroyed in the earthquake of 1983. It was rebuilt according to the original design and simple aesthetic, reflecting the town’s preference to preserve its cultural traditions. The church still retains a certain stark beauty.

Important Information

Address: East of Cr. 1AE, follow footpath from junction of Cr. 1AE and Calle 5E

Entrance: Free

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