Iglesia de San José – landmark of the Jesús María district
The neo-gothic jewel of Lima
The tall Gothic church towers are a rarity in Lima. Most churches have a baroque facade and a bell tower, others a dome. As a general rule, they look sturdy and heavy, some facades are decorated happily.
The Church of San José in the district of Jesús María has a different history: in the Gothic Revival style, with filigree towers on the northeast side, a dome on the southwest side. The sacred building that rises at the top of Plaza San Jose was completed in 1949, in the Republican period of Peru, and is therefore one of the newest churches in Lima.
Like so many churches in the city, it is separated from the pedestrian plaza by a street. The Carmelite Order, one of the many religious groups that settled in Lima since the conquest of Peru by Francisco Pizarro, was the founding father of this particular construction project.
Actually, the church should have been named in honor of the patron saint of the Carmelites, the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, but at the suggestion of the Archbishop of Lima, she dedicated herself to San José, the patron saint of Peru, because until then he He had not received any place, where he was especially worshiped. On your visit to Lima, you will pass, intentionally or not, through the most diverse churches, all of which are special in their own way. The Church of San José is one of them.
Architectural features of the Iglesia de San José
The architect, Brother Manuel Vidaurre Arrarás, known for his numerous churches in Spain and Latin America, devised a special architectural structure for the district.
The imposing towers on the three-part front façade, over whose central entrance on the pediment the towers rise, open the way to a simple but elevated interior of three naves. Only a few decorative elements adorn the white walls with pointed stone arches. The large windows that run along the pillars of the central nave flood the church with light, highlighting the elegant architectural structures.
The central nave leads to a main marble altar and opens onto an apse with stained glass windows that give this part of the church a warm glow. In general, the Church of San José is not large, and the height of the 52-meter tower may be low by European standards, but in the city affected by the Lima earthquake, it is huge: many of the oldest churches collapsed under the force of nature and had to be rebuilt again and again, due to its height and special construction, the Church of San José is the symbol of the district.
Iglesia de San José
Av República Dominicana 458, Jesús María