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Colombia: San Andrés de Pisimbalá church

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San Andrés de Pisimbalá church | Colombia | Americas

[Visited: January 2009]

On our way to the underground tombs of Tierradentro, we got stranded in Inzá, a regional town, because the direct road to San Andrés de Pisimbalá was blocked after a major overflowing of the river Paez. During our long journey from La Plata to Inzá, during which we were seated next to the driver, we developed a bond with him, to the point where he pointed us to a hotel and even had dinner with us. It was amazing how this friendly man was talking non-stop about virtually anything we could imagine. We felt relieved when he finally went his own way.

Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): The church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá under a rainy sky

The next morning, we wake up to low clouds above us. We have a great view over Inzá from the flat roof of our hotel, and after a ride in a shared taxi, we arrive in San Andrés de Pisimbalá. One of the passengers has been enthusiastically talking to us during the ride, and points us to the famous 200-year old church of the mountain town. A short walk up the hill takes us to the church. Even though I know it had a thatched roof, I am surprised by its size, and the look that I had imagined differently. A very long building, not reminding very much of a church, apart from the tiny bell-tower. The architecture is completely indigenous. Unfortunately, the door is closed, but we learn that it is supposed to be opened soon.

Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Interior of the church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá

It starts to rain when we walk towards the restaurant run by our friend from the taxi, and we end up staying much longer than planned in his eatery. We end up dancing salsa, drawing stares from soldiers marching by, and playing sapo, a Colombian game in which you throw metal pieces at a big wooden cardboard with a bronze frog on top, to score points, while waiting for the rain to stop. When it finally did, we go back to the San Andrés de Pisimbalá church again and enter through the wooden doors. I was struck by the simplicity of the interior: the thick wooden beams, the small religious decorations on the walls, and the emptiness of the church. This can make even a non-religious person silent.

Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): The entrance of the church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Chairs and small statues in the church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá: interior
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Replica of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Indigenous church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Religious scene in church of San Andrés de Pisimbalá
Picture of San Andrés de Pisimbalá church (Colombia): Mary and flowers in the San Andrés de Pisimbalá church

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