The San Carlos Borromeo Church, located in the municipality of Aguadilla, is distinguished for being the only one in Puerto Rico with a groin vault ceiling in its apse instead of a cupola or barrel vault.
The current temple was built when the town of Aguadilla was officially founded in 1780. The parish was devoted to San Carlos Borromeo and Santa María de la Victoria.
The structure underwent renovations almost one hundred years later. In 1862 and 1874, two towers were added: one square and another octagonal, respectively. In 1887, state architect Pedro Cobreros was commissioned to remodel the facade.
Although the structure is built in the traditional style of Spanish churches, it displays some Baroqueinfluences, such as the union of the two towers to the central part of the structure through volutes. Three of the entrance doors are marked by peaked arches while the main door has a Tuscan portico crowned by an oval and a pediment.
The main floor is built mainly of bricks and mortar and consists of the principal nave with five sections, two side naves, an apse and a vestry. A series of simple arcades rests on circular columns that divide the side naves from the main one. The roof is made of wood beams and boards.
Three wooden sculptures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph are preserved in the vestry. They date to 1850 and are used during processions and religious festivals. The church is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites.
Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of Properties, National Registry of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.
Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 17, 2014.
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