Iglesia El Rosario is a beautiful church in down town San Salvador, well it is the interior that is beautiful. The church has a high arched roof with stained-glass windows in different colours, colours that are reflected on the floor. The walls are made of brick and around the church there are metal artwork.
The church was constructed between 1964 - 1971 and is made by the El Salvadorian architect and sculptor Rubén Martínez.
The Museum of Anthropology is situated in Zona Rosa. I went there with Nancy (VT-member conejita71) and her relative Ellie, and we came in a car.
The museum has a great exhibition of artefacts from different periods of the El Salvadorian history and it gives a good insight of the development of the region. There are exhibitions on two floors and in the garden there are pre-Colombian rock-carvings. In another part of the building there was an art exhibition.
Admission for foreigners was 3 dollars and for El Salvadorians 1 dollar (June 2009).
The museum is open Tuesday - Sunday between 9 - 17.
The Museum of Modern Art is situated within walking distance from the Museum of Anthropology so it is convenient to visit them both on the same day, and they are both worth a visit.
The museum opened up in 2003 and has a permanent exhibition of about 250 sculptures and paintings by El Salvadorian artists. There are also temporary exhibitions. Outside the museum are the Monument of Revolution and the Monument of Liberty. There is also a restaurant and a shop in the museum.
The museum is open on Tuesdays - Sundays between 10 - 18.
Admission was 1.50 dollars (June 2009).
Plaza Barrios is San Salvador's main square. On it stand both the cathedral and the Palacio Nacional. There is a small park in the middle, with benches and street vendors. Taxis will drop you off and pick you up here, but they are not allowed to wait on the plaza itself. You will find all walks of life on the plaza and it is heavily policed.
Does a church that is located less than three blocks away from the main cathedral of a country’s capital city really qualify as an “off the beaten path” destination? I say it does if nobody knows that it’s there. Facing the Parque Libertad, just two blocks east of the Plaza Barrios that fronts the national cathedral, you’ll find the Iglesia El Rosario, one of the most awe-inspiring churches I’ve ever visited. Believe me, it’s well worth the short walk. Why El Salvador’s “Centro Nacional de Registros” decided to leave the Iglesia El Rosario off their official tourist map of San Salvador is a mystery to me.
La Catedral Metropolitana is one of San Salvador's landmark buildings and marks the exact centre of the city. The modern cathedral was completed in 1999 and replaced an earlier cathedral which burned down in 1956. Below the main floor is the tomb of Archbiship Oscar Romero, which was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1999. The cathedral's most distinctive feature is its colourful facade painted in campesino style by "El Salvador's National Artist", Fernando Llort. Look closely at it and you will see campesinos and indigenous people with hands clasped together in prayer.
Admission is free and photography is permitted inside.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of San Salvador. The present cathedral was completed in 1999 and had been built on the site of a previous church.
Between the two bell towers the façade is decorated with colourful artwork by the artist Fernando Llort. The high dome has a blue and yellow checker pattern. Under the dome is the main altar. It is surrounded by paintings made by Andrés García Ibáñez, depicting the life of Christ. Beneath the cathedral is the tomb of Oscar A Romero.
In El Centro, on the north side of Plaza Barrios.
When in San Salvador and in need of a tour guide, consider Abraham Rodriquez at InterTours. Abraham has an encyclopedic mind about all things El Salvador including flora, fauna, history, social changes, the civil war, geology and the many volcanoes. He can tell you what the Spanish were looking for in El Salvador and if they found it?
My list was short. I wanted to see the Teatro, National Cathedral, Archbishop Romero's grave, Plaza Libertad, and the National Palace. But how can I safely realize this dream without a guide? The answer came from Stephanie at the Hotel Terraza. She reached over and took a brochure from a stand on the counter and gave them a call. Soon enough I was schedule for a tour. No reservations, just a phone call and agreed upon time.
When the tour was over I tipped Abraham considerably. I was grateful for his personal service, good english, and the generalist knowledge of his country. Prior to arrival, I had done my homework, and he exceeded my knowledge and left me speechless. I'm still absorbing all that he spoke about. When I arrived back at my hotel I transcribed my thoughts into notes. Abraham comes highly recommended from me. Thanks Abraham.
When the sounds and the smells of the city get to be too much, take the 44 bus from Metrocentro and head out to the peaceful and lovely botanical gardens in Antiguo Cuscatlán. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9-5; admission costs $1 for adults, $0.50 for children. In addition to a fine collection of native and non-native flora, the grounds (which are located at the base of an ancient volcano crater) are also home to some interesting fauna. Keep your eyes open, and in addition to the many resident lizards, you’ll probably also spot a cotuza (a rodent that resembles a small, tail-less beaver) walking along the paths. For more pictures of the gardens, check out my Jardin Botánico “La Laguna” Travelogue.
In the crypt under the cathedral is the tomb of Archbishop Oscar A Romero. His grave has got a bronze sarcophagus and in the wall behind are graves of other archbishops. This place is often visited by pilgrims and it was also visit by Pope John Paul II on his visit to El Salvador.
When Oscar A Romero became archbishop in 1977 he was known to be quite conservative, but that soon changed. One of his close friends, a Jesuit priest, was killed by the military death squads and it also became more violent in the country. Romero started to criticise government repression. His sermons were broadcast in radio and he talked about justice and human rights.
Romero was assassinated in 1980 while he held a mass in the chapel of Hospital La Divina Providencia. To his funeral more than 250 000 mourners came. During the funeral fire was opened and several people were killed.
MARTE is the popular acronym for the Museo de Art de El Salvador. It is a big, modern art gallery wth a permanent exhibiton of paintings and scupltures by El Salvador's leading artists, including some fine paintings by Raúl Elas Reyes. The Salvadorans, perhaps inspired by Dali, really seem to have taken to Surrealism.
In front of the museum is the massive Monumento a la Revolución.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm
The Centro Romero was founded to commemorate the murdered bisshop Romero. The little museum gives you a view on his live, work and the past civil war.
It is not for nothing that the museum was founded here in the UCA univercity!
On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests - Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin-Baro, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, Juan Ramon Moreno, and Amado Lopez - were murdered by the Salvadoran military on the campus of the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador. Their housekeeper, Elba Ramos, and her daughter Celia Marisela Ramos, were murdered there as well. The Jesuits were labeled subversives by the Salvadoran Government for speaking out against the oppressive socioeconomic structure of Salvadoran society. Their assassinations were ordered for their unwavering defense of the poor.
The Jesuits were six of over 70,000 victims who died in El Salvador’s civil war which raged in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The vast majority of these victims were civilians killed by El Salvador’s armed forces and paramilitary death squads. The death of the Jesuits brought international outrage and condemnation upon the Salvadoran Government and pressured them to negotiate an end to their country’s civil war.
Color-pictures of this incident are still to see in the museum, but I have to warn you their very confrontating! I came out (half) depressive, but I've to say it positivly chanched my mind about some things!
The centro Romero is located in Santa Tecla on the Univercity domain of the 'Universidad Centro-Americana'. If You'll ask the way there they'll show you certainly.
An astonishing (and horrifying) collection of film, photos, posters and audio recordings that chronicle El Salvador's brutal history during the civil war. Be sure to ask the museum to play some of their most interesting videos for you.
From the museum: " The Museum of the Word and the Image is a citizen´s initiative dedicated to investigating, recovering, preserving and displaying to the public, cultural and historical elements of El Salvador.
It has an extensive archive with collections of photography, audio, film, video, posters, objects and publications given to the museum through the enthusiastic colaboration of society, which has responded to our call “against the virus of the forgotten memory.”
This important archive, that was in danger of dissappearing, is being classified and digitalized.
We present circulating expositions on the themes of identity, culture, and historical memory. We also produce books, audio-visual presentations, and numerous educational and cultural activities.
Among the future plans, are the installation of a permanent exposition space in San Salvador, and to maintain the activities in the most remote areas of the country."
This is El Salvador's leading museum. It covers the archaeology, history, anthropology and crafts of the Salvadoran people. Exhibits range from pre-Columbian stone carvings and pottery to contemporary farm implements.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 9am-5pm
Beautiful view. Our guide took us here and we ate at a little pupusa stand.
I took a 7 hr tour for $70USD which included, San Andrés, Joya de Cerén, and Lago de Coatepeque. The guide spoke English very well. Salvador Tours provides other guided tours as well.