Posted by: RasmaSandra | January 7, 2018

Lovely Arequipa


In our armchair travels, we have arrived in Peru, a country in South America that has a section of Amazon rainforest and is home to Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city which sits high up in the Andes Mountains.

peru are

Our first stop is Arequipa, the colonial-era capital of the Arequipa Region. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes.

peru santa catalina

Monasterio de Santa Catalina is one of the most fascinating religious buildings in Peru. The convent is guarded by high walls. It was founded in 1580. Visitors can hire informative guides who speak a variety of languages. Two evenings a week the monastery is open to let visitors walk through the shadowy grounds by candlelight just like nun did centuries ago.

peru santa catalina novice

A great way to enjoy your visit is to take a look at the three main cloisters. Passing under the silencio or silence arch you enter the Novice Cloister which is marked by a courtyard with a rubber tree in the center. This was the cloister where nuns lived as novices for four years. After which time they could choose to take their vows or leave the convent.

peru santa catalina the-orange-cloister

The Orange Cloister was for graduated novices and was named for the orange trees at its center. Here you can see the Profundis Room, where deceased nuns were mourned and paintings of them line the walls. From here you walk along Cordova Street which is flanked by cells that served as living quarters for the nuns.

peru santa catalina flowers

Walking along Toledo Street you’ll come to a cafe and at last to the communal washing area, where at one time servants washed. Burgos Street leads to the cathedral’s sillar tower and visitors can enter the communal kitchen.

peru santa catalina zac square

Zocodober Square was the place where nuns gathered on Sundays to exchange their handicrafts. To the left visitors can the cell of the legendary Sor Ana who was a nun renowned for her strangely accurate predictions about the future and the miracles she supposedly performed until her death in 1686.

peru santa catalina cloister

The Great Cloister is bordered by the chapel on one side and the art gallery. The building was built in the shape of a cross. Murals on the walls depict scenes from the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

peru le catedral

La Catedral stands on the Plaza de Armas and is the only cathedral in Peru that stretches the length of a plaza. The cathedral has been rebuilt several times. The interior is airy with high vaults. It is one of the fewer than 100 basilicas in the world entitled to display the Vatican flag, which is to the right of the altar. Both the altar and the 12 columns (symbolizing the 12 Apostles) are made of Italian marble. In front of the altar hangs a huge Byzantine-style brass lamp made in Spain and the pulpit was carved in France. The impressive organ came from Belgium in 1870 and is said to be the largest in South America.

peru plaza armas.jpg

Plaza de Armas is the city’s main plaza. You can see impressive colonnaded balconies lining three sides. On the fourth side, you’ll find La Catedral.

 peru compagnia

Iglesia de La Compania is a Jesuit church sitting on the southeast corner of the Plaza de Armas. The facade is an impressive sample of the Churrigueresque style (a mix of Baroque and some Spanish from the 1660s). There is a detailed altar covered in gold leaf.

peru compagnia san iglesio

To the left of the altar is the San Ignacio Chapel, with a polychrome cupola designed with jungle-like murals of tropical flowers, fruit, and birds, mingling with warriors and angels.

peru claustros

Next door you’ll find the lovely, semi-outdoor shopping center Claustros de la Campania.

peru recoleta

Monasterio de la Recoleta this wonderful old monastery has a huge library that contains over 20,000 books and maps. The oldest volume dates back to 1494. The library is open for supervised visits.

peru recoleta 2

Here you can also find a well-known museum of Amazonian artifacts collected by missionaries. There is also an extensive collection of pre-Conquest artifacts and religious art of the Cuzco School. There are guides who speak English, Spanish, French and Italian.

peru yana

Yanahuara is a wonderful neighborhood to visit just walking distance from the city center. Heading through the streets

peru yana bridge

and over the Puente Grau Bridge, you’ll come to a small plaza.

peru yana viewpoint

At the side of the plaza is a mirador or lookout which offers great views of Arequipa and El Misti.

peru municipal historico

Museo Historico Municipal this is a museum divided up into various rooms that are dedicated to different epochs – pre-Hispanic, the independence era, the republic era and the War of the Pacific.

peru museo architectura

Adjacent you’ll find the Museo Arqueologico Chiribaya housing an impressive collection of artifacts from the pre-Incan Chiribaya civilization, including well-preserved textiles and the only pre-Incan gold collection in southern Peru.

peru museo de arte

Museo de Arte Virreinal de Santa Teresa is an impressive 17th-century Carmelite convent made into a living museum. The colonial-era buildings are known for their decorative painted walls and restored rooms just filled with priceless treasures.

peru museo de arte 2

There are student tour guides who speak various languages including English. A shop at the front of the complex sells baked goods and rose-scented soap made by the nuns.

peru san miguel 2


Iglesia de San Miguel Arcangel is an eye-catching church in the inner suburb of Cayma, dating back to 1730.The small tower offers panoramic views.

peru casa rickettes

Casa Ricketts was built in 1738 and has been a seminary. archbishop’s palace, school, and home to well-to-do families. Today it is a bank that is also home to a small gallery of Arequipan art and dual interior courtyards with puma-headed fountains.

peru casa moral

Casa de Moral is a stylized Baroque house built in 1730 and named after the 200-year-old mulberry tree in its central courtyard. It is a museum with antique maps, furniture, religious art and an extensive Peruvian coin and banknote collection. Explanations are in English and Spanish.

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  1. I lived in Arequipa years ago, for two years. Thanks for the re-visit!

    • Glad I was able to bring you back in memories Camie.

  2. I am amazed by this. Such a beautiful place. and yes very nice presentation.

    • Thank you, Ankit. I really enjoy putting this blog together and finding just the right information and photos to share with others so that they can see how lovely places are.

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