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San Sebastián Church, Cusco

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Home » Cusco » The main temples and churches in Cusco, Peru » San Sebastián Church, Cusco

The Church of San Sebastian boasts a colonial architecture of baroque style, considered as Cultural Heritage of the Nation, known as one of the most attractive of the city of Cusco. Where it highlights its monumental architecture and the repertoire of canvases of the sebastian painter Diego Quispe Tito, belonging to the Cusco School.

History of the temple of San Sebastián of Cusco

To develop the stages of the construction of the San Sebastián Church, we have to consider that initially it was a parish built by indigenous people approximately in the year 1560, then it went through other modifications until the year 1950, as the date of completion.

However, on September 16, 2016, a fire occurred in the temple of San Sebastián that caused damage to the material heritage, being an event that undoubtedly shocked the faithful and the population in general for the feeling that is kept to the Christian religion. In spite of everything, reconstruction work began on the canvases and affected parts of the religious monument that you can visit today.

Who was San Sebastián?

Saint Sebastian was born in Narbonne, an ancient city of the Roman Empire that currently belongs to France, and is celebrated every January 20. He was named as apostle of the confessors and martyrs of the church.

He was a man who had mercy for the punished Christians of those years, so he was taken to be executed, where they stripped his clothes to tie him to a post and was pierced by the discharge of arrows. For his heroism he was recognized as the saint of archery, soldiers and athletes.

A saint that was brought to Cusco during the colonial era and according to historical research mentions that the Quechua inhabitants of the valley of the city that maintained their beliefs in respect to the Apu or mountains, so they put the saint jungle details with which the current patron saint of San Sebastian is venerated.

San Sebastian 1
Patron Saint of San Sebastián, Cusco.

How to get there?

The San Sebastián Church is located in the main square of the district of the same name, in the city of Cusco.

To reach the indicated destination, you can take any public transport service or go in a private vehicle. As information, this site is five kilometers from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco (about 18 minutes by car).

Why visit the San Sebastián Church in Cusco?

The Church of San Sebastián is visited for presenting a structure of two towers with different constructions, one from the XVII century and the other from the XVIII century. Composed by three bodies, in the first one is observed the gate with attractive details, in the second part stands out the coat of arms of the bishop Manuel de Mollinedo and in the last zone is the cross next to the bell towers of the sides.

In the interior of the temple highlights the sculpture of the Patron Saint of San Sebastián, the main altar of baroque tendency, sculptures, pictures representative of the life of the saint of the place, set of paintings and canvases that tell the passion of Christ that enhance the walls of the church.

The Patron Saint Festival of San Sebastián is celebrated in honor of the patron saint and anniversary of the district for three consecutive days in the month of January each year, beginning on the 18th, followed by the eve of the 19th and the octave of the 20th.

Tierras de los Andes recommends visiting the church and the district of San Sebastián on those dates because you will witness the different traditional dances, accompanied by musicians, chants and procession of the saint. In addition, you can enjoy the gastronomy of the Peruvian highlands, with drinks and desserts found in the fairs and even visit the different tourist destinations of Cusco.

Schedules and prices

The entrance to the Church of San Sebastián is of free access for any visitor. In the case of the schedule it is recommended to go in the afternoons from Monday to Friday from 15:00 to 17:00 hours or at times of worship as the Sunday masses at 7:00 in the morning and 18:00 hours in the afternoon.

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