On the south side of their terrace is the indescribably beautiful ruin of the San Augustin Church and convent, initially built in the mid-17th Century by the good padres of that fine order.
Earthquakes dispatched the St. Augustine brothers but wrought a beautiful sculpture of a open-sided church which gives on to the bar. From the El Chaman patio you get an eerie effect of the old church, especially dramatic when the light moves from dusk to dark. That’s when the El Chaman puts on the flood lights and the old church is even more hauntingly beautiful.
Overall, there’s a sensational panoramic view to be had since El Chaman also looks out onto two other sides of the city, that is to the west and to the north. The westerly side is a slice of the highlands that ring the city. Soft and harsh light plays on their slopes depending on the time of day or movement of the clouds. It gives the visitor a sense of location and place.
To the north you have a fine view of the city, including a bird’s eye view of some backyards, always a point of interest wherever you go, I am sure. But at least one of them still has an old colonial style “fuente” or fountain, used primarily to wash the masters’ togs back in the day.
Of note, to the northeast you get another aspect glimpse of the Compania de Jesus Church and Monastery, which was built by the Jesuit fathers around the same time as the St. Augustine Church. Earthquakes and politics (back in Spain) drove the Jesuits out of the city, leaving a crumbling silhouette for you to muse upon while you sip your very fine margarita.
El Chaman is located at 7a Avenida Norte #2