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Peru > Pictures and travelogues > Arequipa

Pictures from the historic center of Arequipa in Peru: the Cathedral, the Monastery of Saint Catherine, and the Church of the Company.  

The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa in the historic center of Arequipa, Peru
The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa in the historic center of Arequipa, Peru.

Arequipa is the second most populous city in Peru and also the second most industrialized (mainly manufacturing of wool) city in the country. Arequipa is located at an altitude of 2,335 m  (7550 ft), in southern Peru at the foot of the Misti volcano in the Andes. It is nicknamed the White City after the many historic buildings that have been built in white or pink volcanic stone. The city served by Rodríguez Ballón International Airport located about 19 km (12 mi) northwest of downtown. It is also accessible by train from Cusco.

The historic center of Arequipa is spread over an area of 332 hectares (820 acres) and been inscribed by UNESCO on the World Heritage List. It contains many historical buildings. Some of them were built in the nineteenth century after the earthquake of 1868.

The religious historical buildings are among the most famous monuments of the city. The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa is one of Peru's most famous colonial cathedrals. It is located in the "Plaza de Armas" of Arequipa. The cathedral was built in 1656 on the site of a church that was destroyed by an earthquake. The first church dates back to the 1550s. The neoclassical cathedral was damaged by fire or earthquakes at different times and was restored every time. Just like most other monuments in Arequipa, It is made of ignimbrite (volcanic stone, also known as "sillar"), with vaults in bricks. The cathedral contains a museum. 

Monastery of Saint Catherine in Arequipa, Peru
The Monastery of Saint Catherine (Covento de Santa Catalina de Siena) in the historic center of Arequipa, Peru.

The Monastery of Saint Catherine is a monastery of Dominican nuns in Arequipa. It was built in 1579 and was enlarged in the 17th century. It is one of the largest monasteries in the world. The part of the monastery that is now open to the public is a major tourist attraction in Arequipa.

The Church of the Company in Arequipa, Peru
The Church of the Company in the historic center of Arequipa, Peru.

The Church of the Company  is one of the most splendid creations of Peruvian Baroque. It was the starting point of the "Escuela Arequipeña", a unique style blending European and native characteristics.

The historic center of Arequipa is also home to many civil or military monuments and several parks. Numerous museums are located in the city. The Andean Sanctuaries Museum of the Catholic University of Santa Maria hosts the Mummy Juanita (the "Ice Maiden") who was found on Mount Ampato in 1995. The Mummy Juanita is the well-preserved frozen body of an Inca girl who was killed as an offering to the Inca gods in the 15th century.



More pictures from Peru
Here you find the travelogue and many other photos that ADC Scuba Diving Antwerp (the author of the photos above) took during a trip to Peru: Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.

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Pictures from the historic center of Arequipa in Peru: the Cathedral, the Monastery of Saint Catherine, and the Church of the Company. Travel guide to Peru with many great pictures.