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Iglesia Don Rua

Take a tour of an attractive Romanesque church that is sure to delight you with the beauty of its art and architecture.

The Iglesia Don Rua is one of San Salvador’s most striking religious buildings. This large white church is noted for its tower and stained glass windows. Explore inside to find beautiful artworks and enjoy a moment of reflection before the impressive altar. 

Admire the church tower, which stands at 315 feet (96 meters) and can be seen from most parts of the city. It is one of the tallest structures in San Salvador. Each side of the tower features a giant clock face from the Netherlands and the roof is crowned with a cross. 

Focus your gaze on the bronze statue of Mary Help of Christians on the top of the dome. Mary Help of Christians is church’s official name, but locals calls it Don Rua after Miguel Rúa, a revered Italian priest.

Once inside, take a tour around the main body of the building to examine the many stained glass windows. They feature several religious themes including scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. Admire their bright colors and the detailing that has gone into the important figures that are represented. At each corner of the transept, see mosaics of four major prophets.

Approach the main altar and look up inside the 197-feet (60-meter) dome to view more stained glass windows. As you tour the church’s interior, stop by some of the other works of art including statues and paintings. One of the most popular is a picture of Don Bosco, a 19th-century priest who founded a religious institute known for its charitable works.

Iglesia Don Rua is also known for its social programs. Every day, its Mamma Margaret dining room provides breakfast and lunch for the homeless.

The church is open every day. It is located in the San Miguelito neighborhood, around 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of the city center. It is easy to reach by bus, taxi or rental car.


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