Up in the hills of the north shore of Aruba stands a Catholic Church known as Alto Vista Chapel. Alto vista means "high view", quite fitting for this area since you really can see from one side of the island to the other. The coastline of Venezuela is also visible, some 16 miles away.
The original church was built here in this desert setting back in 1750 and is said to be the very first church here on the island. It was Indian and Spanish pioneers, including Domingo Antonio Silvestre of Venezuela, who are credited with this beginning of Catholicism here on Aruba.
The current Chapel was completed in 1952 on the same site as the original.
- Click any image to enlarge -
Tourist stream into the Alto Vista Chapel, a peaceful place for all visitors no matter the religion. Notice the outside pews which are used regularly. This historic church is somewhat small inside as you'll see shortly, so the outside pews would come in handy on many occasions.
This is truly out in the desert as there is little more than sand, rocks and cacti scattered about the landscape. I also noticed how intense the sun is here, likely due to the fact that Aruba lies only 12 degrees north of the equator.
Here is an image of the front entrance to the Chapel. I waited as long as I could for a clear shot but nothing doing. When a caravan of off-road trucks came up the road I knew it was time to move on. In this image (above) are a few friends of mine who traveled with us.
One of the few clear shots of the day shows the side view. I really like the architectural styling. In the left background, a man is dwarfed by one of the long-standing cacti in this hill country.
Next we have an angled view of the front. I am really loving the front doors.
This 1952 Chapel was designed by a Dutch Engineer named J. A Hille. Placement of the building exactly matches the location and orientation of the original. This is considered sacred ground so great attention to detail was used here. While thinking of the many worshipers that have visited this site, I had a sense of being in a special, historic place.
As we close out this post let's have a look inside.
Inside, a couple of worshipers have a private moment. Out of respect I made this my only inside shot, taken from the doorway.
I enjoyed the visit here at this special place and I hope you enjoyed seeing it as well. As always, I really appreciate you stopping by.