The town’s leafy main square, Parque Caldas, is overlooked by the whitewashed Catedral. Although the biggest and most frequently used of the churches, architecturally it’s the least important, built around 1900 on the site where two earlier structures stood. Four blocks east, on C 5 and Cra 2, is the city’s oldest standing church, La Ermita, which features an austere single-naved chapel comprised of wooden ribbing and a golden altar dating from 1564.
On C 4 and Cra 5, the Iglesia de Santo Domingo’s Baroque stone portal is an excellent example of Spanish New World architecture. Equally ornate is the staircased pulpit of Iglesia de San Francisco, situated on a quiet plaza on C 4 and Cra 9, where several of Popayán’s patrician families are buried. La Ermita and Iglesia de Santo Domingo are beautifully lit up at night.