The construction of the church of San Francisco in Bogota began in 1557; it opened its doors in 1566, year in which it was blessed for the worship. The original construction was comprised of a nave to which were added chapels on the oriental side, chapels that were integrated to become a second nave at the moment of the reconstruction of the church carried out after the earthquake of 1785.
The master mason Francisco Thin was in charge of the construction of the sacristy and of the chapel between 1610 and 1616. Three years later he would participate in the placement of the aqueduct with a battery of provision for the convent. In turn, the cloister and the nursing were completed in the middle of the 17th century. In 1618, the carpentry of the chorus and the seating were assembled by Luis Márquez and the greater altarpiece Asturian Ignacio Garcia of Ascucha that would devise it between 1623 and 1629. Also by the year of 1627 the tower of the temple would be built at the time with the chapel of San Pedro of Alcántara. The side room of the Immaculate, that was attributed to Esquiaqui, was built toward the middle of the 17th century.
The earthquake that shook to the capital in 1785 caused serious damages to the structure of the church and caused the collapse of the facade. The lieutenant general Domingo Esquiaqui was in charge of the repair of the front of the church and of the tower and Fray Domingo of Petrés the recovery of the remainder of the church that ¨there was to redo almost all¨ according to its own words. The intervention of Petrés was extremely respectful of the baroque style of the temple, which caused stupor among those who recognized in the friar to a ¨neoclassical abominator of the baroque one¨. The restoration was concluded in 1794- although there are evidence that in 1802 the works of restoration continued - and the church was re-inaugurated and consecrated by the bishop Martínez Compañón. Concerning the restoration by Petrés, Pedro María Ibañez wrote: ¨The builder wanted to give more amplitude to the church, committed the very serious error, very frequent in the Spanish cities, of diminishing the wide one of the public highway, adding of the side of the small square a nave (...). The new cover sheet of the temple was built with stones of ashlars, very well worked, was adorned with four elegant columns, symbolic shields and a statue of stone of San Francisco.¨
Address: Av. Jiménez at Carrera 7, Bogota, open daily 8-6.