I’ve always heard my parents, relatives and friends (as well as some bold & adventurous travel bloggers) talk about Santa Ana, the second largest city of El Salvador. It is one of the most emblematic cities renowned for its pastel-hued buildings, blossoming coffee culture & trade, spectacular volcanoes & lakes, and also a stunning neo-gothic cathedral.
So after touring The Ruins of Tazumal, a very important and historic Mayan site in the Northwestern region, I asked our private driver to take us there and confirm what everyone had said for years!
The major economic activities of the city revolve around manufacturing, agriculture and the coffee industry. There are many coffee plantations in the area and the final product is of very high quality and is exported to many countries around the world!
As you know I just LOVE coffee and sincerely wish I had gone on a tour & taste fresh, delicious, organic, mountain-grown coffee and bring back some like I did in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
We only had a short time therefore we proceeded to a walking tour of the main attractions from the main square.
Palacio Municipal / Municipal Palace
Teatro de Santa Ana / Santa Ana Theatre
Right across from the municipal palace is this beautiful theatre which was built back in the early 1900’s.
Theatre and opera performances used to be showcased. Today art exhibits and stage performances are held inside this lavishly decorated building, the oldest in Central America.
Zooming into the details
Balcony of the theater
Santa Ana Cathedral
This impressive building really leaves you speechless. Now I have been around the world and I have been to so many churches in Europe that I lost track of the number.
However I can assure you that this cathedral is quite remarkable! Signs of the time & elements are obvious on the exterior. It simply adds more character and personality :)
Details of the façade
Looking up and close
If the exterior is quite a sight, the interior does not go unnoticed!
A replica of the Shroud of Turin is found inside the cathedral!
View from the inside out
After spending a few moments in silence and giving thanks to the source for everything, we left and walked around a bit more.
I stumbled upon the Centro de Artes / Center of Arts
Last but not least, I saw something that surprised me. Can you believe it’s a casino?
This beautiful, baroque style white building was designed by architect Armando Sol in 1942.
It was a meeting place of affluent people but it did not have any machines as we know them today.
What really surprised me about the visit is how different, clean and orderly this city is compared to the hustle and bustle of the capital!
I really enjoyed going back in time (I really felt as if I was back in the 1950’s) and enjoyed exploring Santa Ana with my family members and being welcomed by the locals who are some of the nicest & kindest I have ever met.
Now I know that there are still places where you can go and feel safe, marveled and fortunate and clearly this is one of them.
Even though it was a very short time, I certainly will return in the future and stay a few days to discover other attractions such as Parque Nacional Cerro Verde, Santa Ana Volcano and magnificent Lago de Coatepeque which was nominated as a natural wonder of the world!
Now over to you!
Have you ever traveled to city just for its architecture?
If so where was it?
I would love to read all about it and if you have photos include them!
Until next time,