Santa Marta Cathedral

Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia

Despite its relatively small size, the Santa Marta Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, with its gleaming white stucco and its elegant neoclassical facade. A witness to the history of Santa Marta since the mid-18th century, the church boasts that it is the oldest in Colombia, although there are a number of other churches with claims to that title. In any case, the cathedral is today both an active place of worship and a historic monument, as both the home of the remains of the city’s founder and as the site of Simón Bolívar’s first burial. (His remains were disinterred after 12 years and moved to Caracas, where Bolívar was born and raised.) The square in front of the cathedral is also an ideal place to rest and watch the life of the city unfold in front of you.

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