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The Mother Church

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The mother church of Callao is the main religious building of the port city and belongs to the Diocese of Callao, created by Pope Paul VI in 1967 through the bull Aptiorem Ecclesiarum. In 1995 it was elevated to the category of Cathedral by Pope Saint John Paul II. It is located between the traditional Constitución Gálvez and Miller streets, facing the Plaza Matriz. Its current dedication is that of Saint Joseph.

When the old mother church of Callao was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami of 1746, which was located at the entrance to the Chucuito neighborhood, in 1833, when the new port city of Callao was born, the rich Italian merchant Antonio Dañino promoted, with the support from other merchants living there, the construction of a temple and designated its current location as its location. This first church was dedicated to San Judas Tadeo and San Simón El Zelote, who according to tradition took care of the Bay of Callao since time immemorial.

Destroyed by a fire, new work began from the foundations in 1866 under President Mariano Ignacio Prado, but construction continued for many years, until 1893, after the war with Chile. Its materials were the traditional ones of colonial-republican Peruvian architecture: with stone foundations, adobe walls, quincha and wood components. The style of the new temple was characteristic of the temples in vogue at the time of academic influence with a neoclassical orientation.

In October 1966, the main church was seriously affected by the earthquake of October 17 of that year, and it remained in serious deterioration for many years. In 1991, after a first unsuccessful restoration that began in 1987, CORDE-CALLAO financed the total reconstruction of the church, which was entrusted to a team chaired by the architect Víctor Pimentel Garmendia, opting to formally reproduce the old church, but with materials modern. The work was inaugurated on September 16, 1995 and consecrated as the Cathedral of Callao. The exterior and interior lighting was inaugurated on November 26, 2002.


Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

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