Cuenca's El Sagrario Chapel
The third largest city in Ecuador is Cuenca where you will see, among many other things, the El Sagrario Chapel. This city’s full name is Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca. It is capital of the Azuay province and is 2500m above sea level. When you enter into this city you will be transported back in history to a time when streets were made from cobblestone and the buildings were painted white or built in marble.
This city is really a delight to visit and when you finally wake up and realize that you’re not in the 18th century you will still be able to fully appreciate the people there with their traditional manner and conservative cultural values. Apart from that you will soon discover from wondering around just how many notable and intellectual people have originated from Cuenca. All of this has led to Cuenca being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site.
The El Sagrario Chapel is a Roman Catholic Church that continues down to this day to stick to the teachings and morals that it has had for so many years. Some may think it narrow-minded, considering we live in the 21st century, but altogether it is a refreshing touch. El Sagrario is located near a group of buildings called the “la Catedral” or the cathedral complex where you will also find the Grand Mosque, Cathedral and the Royal Chapel surrounding it. Interestingly if you were to take a bird's eye view of the Chapel you would notice that the layout of the Chapel is that of the Greek cross.
As you walk inside the El Sagrario Chapel’s golden doors you will find many well-known Renaissance paintings that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries in the main atrium and in the two hallways. You will also see a baptismal font that has been carved out of white marble and an altarpiece that has a glass altar table in front of it. The Chapel was rebuilt in 1704, but before that it had been built with donations given by families that were wealthy and wanted the Chapel for their own private use.