iGLESIA DE SAN IGNACIO BUENOS AIRES
Iglesia de San Ignacio or in English, the St. Ignatius Church, is the oldest church in Buenos Aires. After a walk through the Manzana de luces I stumbled upon this beautiful and historical church.
Early history of San Ignacio de loyola
The Montserrat neighborhood is very busy and I found the church surrounded by young people and beggars but I did take some time to admire the towers. The temple was built in 1675 and refurbished a couple of times over the years. In Mei 1942 it was declared a National Historical Monument in Buenos Aires. Being the oldest church in the city I expected it to look worn and old but I was pleasantly surprised.
Iglesia de San Ignacio Vandalized
Off course what I didn`t know was that a lot of sadness and heartache was hiding behind those freshly painted walls. This year a group of students vandalized the church because they were unhappy with their school. They wrote anti-religious slogans on the walls and left a trail of destruction. Sadly the church was also vandalized during riots in 1955. Many original paintings were stolen and items from the church looted. It is heartbreaking that these things are happening to our churches and historical buildings.
Luckily when I visited the church everything was cleaned up and freshly painted.
San ignacio de loyola church and the Jesuits
The church was built by the Jesuits that came to Argentina and the building style is typical of the other Jesuits Churches. Next to the church a school was later built. It changed names over the years and is now called the Buenos Aires National College. That explains all the young people I saw around the church.
If you are in the Montserrat area then it is well worth a visit. The inside of the church is really beautiful. There are large paintings on the walls and gold plated altars. Close to the main altar is a huge dome and beautiful, soft light is shining through. I have been inside many churches in Buenos Aires city and this one is really beautiful.
[ale_alert style=”green”] There are guided tours available. When you exit the church to your right, there is a passage and enquiries can be made there. [/ale_alert]
Address: 225, Bolivar St. – Montserrat – Buenos Aires
When: 23 October 2013
This article was feautured in Zimbio Buenos Aires Argentina.