Parroquia San José
Also known as the Iglesia de Santo Tomás de Aquino, the iconic San Jose Church in Puerto Rico is an essential destination for the faithful and secular alike. Some call it Parroquia San Jose. Whatever you call it, you’re certain to be stuck by its remarkable history. It may look like a humble church at first glance, but there is so much more to this building that you are going to want to keep in mind.
Visiting our medical marijuana dispensary in San Juan? Keep in mind that the San Jose Church is less than a four-kilometer drive by car from Sinsemilla in San Juan. If you want to appreciate the richness and depth of this region, the San Jose Church is going to be one of your top Puerto Rico destinations.
Let’s take a close look at just what this church offers to residents and visitors alike.
Parroquia San Jose History
Located in the historical part of Puerto Rico’s illustrious capital, San Jose Church stands in the present as one of the first notable examples of architecture to go up on the island. That means we are talking about a structure with a story that spans the recent centuries. As the world has risen to become a marvel of technology and humanity, which includes Puerto Rico, the San Jose Church has stood tall. For believers, it is a testament to the enduring power of faith. For others, it is a monument of humanity’s collective aspirations to build and achieve.
The construction history of San Jose Church alone is fascinating. This would be due to the fact that work began on the church in 1532. The church was initially put up by the Dominican Order. The church was intended to be a piece of the monastery dedicated to Saint Aquinas. It was Juan Ponce de León who donated the land, situated at the Isleta of San Juan at the highest point, upon which the church would eventually be built. Formal construction of the church was completed in 1735.
Speaking of de León, he would eventually be buried in the church, as well. Puerto Rico’s first governor, his body was eventually moved in 1836. It currently resides in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. Nonetheless, the coat of arms for de León remains. There are also two other bodies currently buried on location at the church. This would be the noted painter José Campeche, as well as Juan Ponce de Leon II, the grandson of one of Puerto Rico’s most famous citizens.
In 1858, the church was transferred from the friars to Jesuit Order. It became known as the Church of San Juan. One more time, in 1887, it was transferred over to Vincentian Fathers. The interior of the church was then decorated for a third time, which is essentially how it continues to look in the present.
Parroquia San Jose In The Present
The church as it stands today is as stunning as it is impressive, in terms of the building still standing. Its value to the history of not only Puerto Rico, but also the history of the world, cannot be understated. Given that it was put up in the sixteenth century, one appreciates the fact that this is one of the oldest examples of 16th century Gothic architecture (of the Spanish kind) in the whole of the Western Hemisphere. It is not difficult to understand why people from all across the world visit this church for inspiration, a deep connection to our shared history, and so much more.
The church is indeed available to visits from the public. At this moment in time, you do not need to contact anyone ahead of time.