Leave a tribute to the revered Virgin of Cuyo at one of the most important churches in Argentina.
Visit the grand, neoclassical Basilica de San Francisco and marvel at the elaborate altar and the Virgin’s chapel. Enter the tomb containing the remains of the daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter of Independence hero General José de San Martín and see artifacts from the country’s path to independence.
The Basilica de San Francisco replaced an original Jesuit church that was destroyed in the 1861 earthquake. It was built in 1875 by architect Urbano Barbier and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1925. It remains one of the most important religious and historical buildings in the city.
Leave a tribute to the Virgin of Cuyo, patron of San Martín’s liberating “Army of the Andes” in the Virgin’s semi-circular chamber. The image of the Virgin of Cuyo at this church is considered by many to be miraculous, as it survived the devastating 1967 earthquake that shook Mendoza. Walk around the Renaissance-style pink stucco basilica and admire all of the priceless religious artifacts it houses. You’ll see paintings, carvings and stucco work, as well as 12 large pillars with Corinthian columns, on your walk around.
See the baton used by Argentine war hero José de San Martín when leading the Argentine troops against the Spanish Empire in the Argentine War of Independence. The baton was donated to the church on San Martín’s return from Chile. Visit his family’s remains in the San Martín tomb; these were brought back to the country from France in 1951.
Enjoy great views of the church from the many grassy areas in nearby Independence Square or come in the evening to see the building looking its most splendid with soft lights highlighting the arches and statues.
The Basilica de San Francisco is open every day except Sunday. Its location, just a few blocks northeast of Independence Square in central Mendoza, is very convenient. Walk to all five plazas at the lively core of the city.