Copacabana Cathedral, formally called BasÃlica de Nuestra SeÃ±ora de Copacabana, is one of Boliviaâ€™s truly unique churches. This sprawling church (1550-1651) has large round domes, commanding pillars and mudÃ©jar (Moorish) style design. From the outside, the cathedral is a dominating, whitewashed sanctuary, complete with a walled courtyard and chapels in each corner. Inside the temple are a long row of wooden pews and a ceiling painted in deep reds, blues and yellows. In a small chapel is the miraculous Virgen de Copacabana, Boliviaâ€™s patron saint. The ornately robed, Andean-looking Virgin was sculpted by Francisco Yupanqui, grandson of the Inca ruler, Tupac Yupanqui. People come from all over Bolivia and Peru to have their new vehicles blessed by her, a ceremony that entails high-powered liquor and fireworks.
The adjacent museum, Museo Pinacoteca Tito Yupanqui, exhibits CusqueÃ±a School paintings and other religious objects (daily 8 a.m.-noon, 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Entry: $0.25). The gift shop sells postcards, books (in Aymara and Spanish), posters and religious relics.
Avenida 6 de Agosto, Plaza 2 de Febrero
Historical Building Types:
Churches, Church and museum, Churches and religious buildings, Spiritual/Religious
Relative price: Free
Open Hours from:Daily 6 a.m.
Open Hours to:Daily 8 p.m.
Travel Skills: None