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February 2013
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Tour Guide of Iglesias Rurales: La Paz y Oruro

003Despite its focus on chapels and its brevity, German Ambassador Philipp Schauer’s guide to rural churches (Guía turística de/Tour guide of Iglesias Rurales: La Paz y Oruro, by Schauer, Philipp, Teresa Gisbert) is my favorite printed guide to the Altiplano.  With lots of maps and photos, Spanish and English directions to, and descriptions of the churches, and information about other sites nearby, this guide has the most detailed information I have been able to find on selected parts of the altiplano.

Of course, the book is absolutely indispensible for anyone interested in the altiplano chapels, architecture, or colonial art.  However, the directions, maps and descriptions of nearby sites also make it useful for explorers who are not so tightly focused on the churches.  The book will get you to many sites which are too small or isolated to be covered in the large commercial guidebooks, but which are nonetheless small gems of culture or nature.

Given the isolation of many of the churches, the book is necessarily oriented to the traveler with an auto.  For the average tourist on the Macchu Picchu-Titicaca-Salar circuit, that may not be helpful, but for anyone who is interested in seriously exploring the altiplano, the only way to do that is in a private vehicle.  If that is your intent, you need this book.

The book is bilingual, which effectively reduces its length further from 96 pages, but makes it accessible to local tourists, as well as English speakers.

The book is available online from numerous sellers for $45.  I have not seen it recently in bookstores in La Paz.

004It is worth noting that Ambassador Schauer has recently published another tome, similar in format, on Santa Cruz Department (not including Santa Cruz City, itself).  If you are thinking of traveling in that region, and especially if you are planning a visit to the Chiquitania, you certainly will want to pick up Atractivos turisticos en el departamento de / Tourist attractions in the department of Santa Cruz.


Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » La Capilla de Sepulturas
Time February 12, 2013 at 6:53 am

[…] In Iglesias Rurales, Ambassador Philipp Schauer states that the church dates from 1785, which date is on the side portal.  Ambassador Schauer is probably right, though the caretaker of the church claimed it was built about 100 years earlier. […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » Tiwanaku Church
Time May 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm

[…] Tiwanaku church is covered in Ambassador Phillip Schauer’s excellent book, “Tour guide of Iglesias Rurales,” which you should certainly buy if you don’t have it […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » Jesus de Machaca Church and Archaeological Sites
Time May 23, 2013 at 7:31 am

[…]  German Ambassador Philipp Schauer has done a great job describing it in his book, Tour Guide of Iglesias Rurales: La Paz y Oruro.  He also gives a great deal of information on the history of the church and the area. […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » The Churches of Curahuara de Carangas and Sajama: An Exploration
Time November 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm

[…] you might want to pick up a couple of books that will enhance your understanding and experience.  Guia turistica de / Tour guide of Iglesias: La Paz Y Oruro, by Ambassador Philipp Schauer (former German Ambassador to Bolivia) is an excellent guide to these […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » The Angels of Calamarca
Time November 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

[…] Bolivia.  There are three distinct sets of angels at Calamarca, and it is definitely worth getting Philipp Schauer’s book to bone up on angels before your trip, as he goes into much more detail than I will […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » Curahuara de Carangas and the Sistine Chapel of the Altiplano
Time January 1, 2014 at 6:24 pm

[…] Whatever else you may see in the area, and even if you are just driving straight through to the Chilean border, do not fail to stop in Curahuara to see the chapel, known officially as the “Iglesia de Santiago de Carangas” or Church of James of Carangas.  It is one of the most important cultural sites in Bolivia.  You would also be very well served to obtain Padre Gabriel Antequera’s book, Capilla Sixtina del Altiplano Boliviano, which provides a thorough description, focusing on an analysis of the murals, and many photos of the chapel (in Spanish only).  For a shorter English-language description of the church, its history, and the surrounding area (and much more), see Ambassador Philipp Schauer’s excellent Guía turística de/Tour guide of Iglesias Rurales: La Paz y Oruro.  […]

Pingback from Larry Memmott's Blog » Ojsani Chapel
Time February 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm

[…] or some ?? miles from Tomarapi, you arrive at the lovely little chapel of Ojsani.  According to Philipp Schauer, Ojsani Chapel was built in 1854 by Mariano Pacaje, an indigenous man.  The chapel was originally […]

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