This is where the first mass was celebrated for the foundation of the city, in 1536.

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La Merced religious complex

This is where it all started

Few places are of such historical significance in Cali as this area; and this is not surprising, as it was built in the very place where the first mass was celebrated, on the occasion of the city’s foundation back in 1536. The construction of the La Merced religious complex was finished in 1545, and has three chapels, a convent and two museums, one archaeological and one of religious art. Its exterior appearance is characterized by a distinctive white colour and by the lack of decorative elements, a simplicity which is also exemplified in the Iglesia de la Merced, the most important building here: it was consecrated to Our Lady of Mercy, patron saint of the city and has two naves and inside houses a very valuable carving of the virgin which dates back to the VII century. Of particular note are its wooden colonial-style altar and the rosary given as a gift by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Cali in 1986.

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