I do not exaggerate when I say that it is possible to find a church every five walking minutes in Sucre. All those relics from the colonial period have white facades - as all constructions downtown - while in their interior save valuable pieces of art. But in Sucre, beyond the temple itself, there are churches with unique peculiarities that make them become even more interesting places to visit. Let's find out!
Santa Clara Convent is a charming place and a jewel from the colonial period that also has a museum with critical religious paintings inside.
However, a visit to the Convent will not be complete without visiting La Casita de Santa Clara (The Little House of Santa Clara). It is a tea house entirely administered by the nuns, where the cooking knowledge transmitted over generations is reflected in their delicious traditional pastry. The pleasant decoration of this place was taken care of personally by the nuns. The nuns themselves painted even the murals of its walls!
In Bolivia, most traditional dishes are served only at a specific time of the day. In La Casita de Santa Clara, during the tea time – 4 pm to 7 pm – you can try some traditional Bolivian tea dishes, such as cuñapés (made of tapioca flour) and humintas (made of white corn), among others. On the other hand, if you go there during the morning time, you can try one of the tastiest Bolivian dishes: salteñas. Salteñas are served all over the country - only in the morning - though, a special type of them is prepared only in Sucre, and it is called “empanada de Santa Clara” because it was first made in this convent according to a nuns' recipe. Nowadays, the empanadas de Santa Clara are served in several “salteñerías” – which are "salteña’s restaurants" - over the city but, of course, here you can try them straight from the authors' kitchen!
Besides its architectonic importance and the impressive wooden ceiling coffered, San Francisco de Charcas Basilica was the scene of the first “Shout of Freedom” of Latin America, on May 25th in 1809. It was the first act of rebellion in the continent against the Spanish Crown and sparkled the expanding fire of many revolutions along Latin America. The church still preserves the bronze bell called Campana de la Libertad (Freedom's Bell) that, during the "Shout of Freedom," was ringed to call the population to the social movement. It rang so loud, with such strength that it even got cracked.
Santa Teresa Temple and Monastery is, undoubtedly, another relic of the city. Though what caught the attention for generations, even more than the Temple itself, is the alley right next to it, called Santa Teresa Alley, known for its popular scary – and sometimes disturbing - legends. It is also said that if you observe carefully, in the cobblestone alley, there is a cow bone with a cross shape embedded in the floor every 15 steps. I cannot tell you about the stories of the alley in this article since it could take several pages, I just can tell you that if you hear about them, you might not want to be there during the night.
San Felipe de Neri and San Miguel Temples have two of the best viewpoints in the city. Find out about them in the following story: Best viewpoints of Sucre.
Sucre Metropolitan Cathedral is the most important religious building of Sucre. Besides the original pieces decorating its principal altar and naves, its museum saves valuable relics that were brought from many points of the world, throughout the Cathedral’s history.
The clock of Sucre Metropolitan Cathedral, visible from the Main Square of Sucre, has been marking the time for the local people for nearly 250 years. In a period with no motorized vehicles, nor paved roads, it took seven years - from 1765 to 1772 - to bring the clock and its gigantic operating system from England to the Cathedral.
For those who are really into colonial architecture and art, there are still many more churches to visit in the city. Some interesting suggestions are San Lázaro Temple, Santo Domingo Church, and La Merced Church.
As you know now, visiting churches in Sucre is not only about the churches themselves. Instead, it is an experience that includes beautiful views of the city from above, tasty food, popular tales, and more experiences that allow you to get immersed in the city’s culture.
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