Rosario Chapel,Iglesia San Josť

San Juan, Puerto Rico

A comprehensive conservation program including documentation, analysis, and stabilization, preserving one of the earliest extant examples of Mediterranean Gothic in the New World.

 

Closed to the public for almost a decade due to structural problems, the 16th century Iglesia San Josť in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was placed on the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites in 2004. The church is the oldest surviving masterpiece of Spanish colonial church architecture in Puerto Rico and one of the earliest extant examples of Gothic in the New World. Within its walls is the 17th century Capilla del Nuestra Virgen de Rosario, containing the most extensive and possibly earliest murals in Puerto Rico and in a serious state of deterioration. Outside, the chapel is distinguished by an ornate sculpted Baroque dome of the same period. In order to preserve the chapel as a legacy of Spanish Caribbean culture and as a place of continued use and veneration, the ACL and its partners have embarked on a comprehensive conservation program including documentation, analysis, and emergency stabilization of the plaster, paintings and exterior ornamental dome.

 

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