The faith of the city is kept in this place, the Cathedral of Guayaquil.
Cathedral of Guayaquil.
Words: Patricio Añazco / Photos: Jairo Cabrera & Instituto Nacional Patrimonio.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Guayaquil, Saint Peter the Apostle, before being elevated to the category of Cathedral by Pope Gregory XVI on 14th September 1838, was called the Main Church and was located at the foot of the Las Peñas neighbourhood, the place where the city of Guayaquil was born.
Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral History.
Its original construction dates back to the middle of the 16th century on the hill of Santa Ana, and it was made of 100% wood. From that time to the present day, it has been dedicated to the Apostle Santiago, the patron saint of the city. At the end of the 17th century, several fires devastated the city, one of which, in 1692, destroyed the wooden church.
The present cathedral stands on the site of the first mother church, built in 1965. This is the area that has been occupied since its designation in the New City: Chimborazo Street, close to the Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas.
From Chimborazo Street you can see the front of the cathedral, where you can see the carved statues of the four evangelists, the same ones that have been there since the cathedral was built. Above them are two imposing towers that end in neo-Gothic spires.
Guayaquil Cathedral, 1877.
There are two clocks, one of which shows the tides of the Guayas River. In the upper part, there is a statue of Santiago Mayor, which can be seen from some of the streets around the cathedral. The interior of this important Catholic place of worship has three naves: the main nave, the aisles and the transept. Next to the altar is a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament, and underneath is a crypt containing tombs dating back more than 200 years.
This is undoubtedly the most important place in Guayaquil where faith is expressed. Stained glass windows, ornaments, images of apostles from the Old and New Testaments, and important Latin American saints and blessed are found here.