We were driving through the countryside of Bolivia outside of Cochabamba and we came across a tiny village with an old Spanish church. We stopped and talked to the locals, but apparently the church was no longer in use and they didn’t have keys to let us inside. We walked around the church and found a window with a mesh screen that was loose and peeked through to see some of the contents inside. It felt as though we were looking back over a hundred years in time.
There are times when traveling, especially when you get outside of the major cities, where you come across little pieces of history that can be as fascinating as some of the well known places. There was nothing particularly specific about this little church, but understanding how the Spanish, who once controlled the region, influenced the native Quechua people is quite interesting. One could easily imagine missionaries working from this church and trying to convert the locals who remained faithful to their existing beliefs.
We would have loved to enter the church to see if there was any artwork inside, but unfortunately we were only able to see a little bit of the altar from the little window. We could have easily just driven by this church and not stopped to investigate, but we are glad that we took the time to visit. Clearly this church is never going to be on anyone’s travel itinerary, but sometimes these unique little oddities are as interesting as the destination. Have you ever come across something unexpected during your travels that has turned out to be memorable?