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Monasterio Santo Ecce Homo - Historical Building Villa de Leyva - Colombia

On a green spread of boulder-strewn land, four Dominican monks established a monastery in 1620. Inside this fossil-studded stone edifice, you can tour the original chapel (note the moon and sun in the apse arch) and a dozen galleries exhibiting religious art and the monks’ daily life. The choir loft displays parchment musical manuscripts. The cloister patio arcade has 33 columns, representing the years Jesus lived and a Passage of the Dead, under whose bricks members of the donor’s family and abbots are buried. Peeking from beneath the whitewashed walls are murals which were ordered covered in the 18th century.


11.7 kilometers (seven miles) from Villa de Leyva, VĂ­a Santa SofĂ­a

Near Villa de Leyva, Villa de Leyva , Colombia

Historical Building Types:
Churches, Monastery, Spiritual/Religious

Getting There

Take a buseta towards Santa Sofía, telling the driver you want to get off at the monastery. From the roadside it’s about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) to the front gate. Many tours include this on their itinerary.

Travel Tips:

If the door isn’t open during the set hours, then ring the bell.


Half-ways between the main road and the monastery is a signed camino colonial, a stone path going to Santa SofĂ­a.


You can begin your day’s outing at the Monsterio, then walking back to Villa de Leyva, visiting other sites along the way.


It is possible to do retreats at the monastery, living within the community. Public mass is celebrated in the chapel Sundays at 5 p.m.

Price Description:

$1.30, includes guided tour (Spanish only)

Relative price: Budget

Open Hours from:Daily 8 a.m.

Open Hours to:Daily 5 p.m.

Travel Skills: None

You Need to Bring:

Bring water, food (snacks and for a picnic lunch), money enough for entries, hat, sunblock, camera.

On the Villa de Leyva-Santa Sofía road: El Infiernito, El Fósil, Fibras Jardín del Desierto and interesting sights; the museums, churches and colonial buildings in Villa de Leyva; the monuments along the Villa de Leyva-Gachantivá roads; Ráquira and Candelaria; Santuario de Flora y Fauna Iguaque.

Currencies accepted
Colombian Peso

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

18 Mar 2011

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