Iglesia La Balbanera is the oldest Catholic Church built in Ecuador.
It was built in August 15th in 1534 by the Spaniards, a one year before the Spanish foundation of Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
This small and unpretentious temple is a relic of the Spanish Conquest.
It has a dramatical stone façade with a large arched doorway, supported by two columns with a mix of holy signs from Catholic and Pre-Colombian religions.
The church stands right next to the Pan-American Highway close to the town of Riobamba as a living testimony of those years and historic events.
Originally La Balbanera was made of adobe and straw, and later “fortified” with the use of stone for the main structures.
The temple was destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1797, and it was reconstructed shortly after the Independence wars, keeping its architectonic design, style and integrity.
In more recent years, Ecuador’s National Institute of Patrimony has done extensive restoration of the church, both on its façade and external structures, as well as on the interior, its walls, altars and ceilings.
The church is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary of Nativity of Balbanera and it is still a place of pilgrimage to the local Kichwa people.
What amazing photos and an interesting place.ReplyDelete
beautiful photos and fun to learn about a new placeReplyDelete
Really amazing photos. I want to go there now!ReplyDelete
Those photos are amazing! The outside architecture is beautiful.ReplyDelete
These are beautiful pics, so much talent you have!ReplyDelete
I love seeing your photos and it makes me want to visit even more. Thanks for sharing a bit of the Ecuadorian history with us.ReplyDelete
Nice. The rich history included must be amazing.ReplyDelete
What beautiful architecture and so much history! Your photos are beautiful!ReplyDelete
I never realized there was so much to see here. Great pics.ReplyDelete
I love visiting areas with architecture history.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing! I love learning the history behind older buildings!ReplyDelete
Stunning photos!! You have such a great eye!ReplyDelete
What beautiful photos! I would love to come across something so beautiful.ReplyDelete
I am a total history buff! I love these photos. I can't wait to have the ability and time to travel the world with my husband!ReplyDelete
that's so cool to live in a place with so much history!ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh, so pretty! I love visit places like this!ReplyDelete
I love churches! So much history in those walls. Beautiful pics!ReplyDelete
Oh wow, it's so beautiful thanks for the quick history and for sharing this beautiful building xReplyDelete
Wow it's amazing how old that building is...thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures with us!ReplyDelete
THose pictures are gorgeous! I love that building!ReplyDelete
Interesting, glad the building was reinforced with stone - I wonder what it looked like in its straw and adobe manifestation...!ReplyDelete
Nice to learn the history of such a landmark. You should write more about it and incorporate your own experience into the post.ReplyDelete
It is amazing how the colors of the church match the colors of the sky, all shades of grey, love it! The whole pictures express unique harmony of that pilgrimage building and nature!ReplyDelete
Wow these are just gorgeous! What an awesome location!ReplyDelete
This is wonderful, these pictures are gorgeous!!ReplyDelete
I love 15th Century Architecture .. they don't make buildings as sturdy anymore. We have most of these buildings in the older cities here in Jamaica... gorgeous photosReplyDelete
Beautiful photos! The temple looks really neat.ReplyDelete
Love the photo you snapped.. It's truly amazing!ReplyDelete
Beautiful pictures ! I love the moodiness of the various shades of grey, it really adds to the style of the church.ReplyDelete
The Spaniards really built churches all over the world a long time ago. Here in the Philippines, lots of these structures were built in reaching out Christianity.ReplyDelete
Very good efforts in keeping the original form of the church even during renovations due to damages. We had a lot of Spanish-time churches that suffered major damages during a big earthquake. I hope they can still be restored to their old glory like this one.ReplyDelete
I love looking and learning more about historical architecture. I'm lousy at remembering the facts after my visits or reading, though! The photos really help picture how it was back thenReplyDelete
Wonderful pictures! I love old architecture and castles, and this one looks so interesting, I love the colored glass in the windows!ReplyDelete
Nice trip and nice collection of photos. :DReplyDelete
This has withstood the test of time since 1534 even after reconstruction after the quake. This one is really a great heritage attraction.ReplyDelete
I bet that this church has seen so many stories from generations to generations.ReplyDelete
This is a beautiful place. Hope to visit it one dayReplyDelete
Wow! Truly a remarkable church that withstood the test of time. This icon must be preserved to the max for future generations to marvel at.ReplyDelete
The oldest churches in Alaska, Russian Orthodox, go back to the Russian fur traders arriving in the mid-1700s. There are more than ninety Russian Orthodox Churches in Alaska still actively used today.ReplyDelete
It is amazing how much our religion and faith tells about us and our history.Delete
I love visiting old churches when I went to Europe because there's so much history. Great pics.ReplyDelete
This is really an amazing place to visit after reading your daily blog.ReplyDelete
This is really beautiful. I love older places like this, there is so much history in them, one can just stand and imagine what it was like back then.ReplyDelete
It's a lovely looking church, very cute :-)ReplyDelete
It resembles the Loboc Church in Bohol, Philippines.ReplyDelete
Really amazing photos!ReplyDelete