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The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá – A Dazzling Church Carved Inside A Salt Mine


The Salt Church

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic Church, which was incredibly built inside the tunnels of a salt mine. This church is some 200 meters beneath ground in a Halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in Colombia.

The history of the church has it that way before this spectacular church was carved in the mine; in 1932 the miners working in the salt mine carved a sanctuary, for offering their daily prayers. Later on, in 1950, the miners started constructing the magnificent Salt Cathedral. The church was ultimately inaugurated on August 15, 1954.

The cathedral had three naves and a monumental cross, which was illuminated from the base up, projecting a large cross-shaped shadow in the ceiling. The right nave included the Stations of the Cross icons and the Rosary chapel, with the Virgin of Rosary Icon. The left nave included the icons of the birth of Jesus and the baptism of Jesus, with a waterfall symbolising the Jordan River.

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Because the cave cathedral was carved inside an active mine, structural problems and safety concerns compelled the authorities to shut down the sanctuary in 1990. A year later in 1991, construction of a new Church structure was undertaken, some 200 feet under the previous one.

Zipaquirá’s Salt Cathedral is a very popular tourist destination and place of pilgrimage in the country. It is one of the most famous Catholic churches, as it commemorates Jesus Christ’s Stations of the Cross. The cathedral considered being one of the most exceptional architectural and artistic accomplishments of the Colombian architecture. As a result, it was even given the title of “modern age architectural jewel.”