This excellent example of baroque colonial architecture is comprised of the Convent of San Francisco, and the Capilla de la ... More
Museo e Iglesia de San Francisco
This excellent example of baroque colonial architecture is comprised of the Convent of San Francisco, and the Capilla de la Soledad y del Milagro (Chapel of Solitude and of the Miracle), which has a neo-classical facade. Dating from 1542, an extensive system of catacombs lies beneath. The cloisters are famous for the authentic Sevillian tile work, which was completed in 1620. There is a Museum of Religious Art, the Zurbaran hall and a library. English and Spanish tours are available with a voluntary donation.
The architecture is beautiful, as well as the surrounding area. Don´t be aggravated by the thousands of pigeons and kids in the square outside. The tour guide was very infomative, aswering all our questions with much detail. You aren´t allowed to take any photos which is a real drawback, although I understand their reasoning. The catacombs were very interesting, our tour guide didn´t seem to know much about them though. Overall a very worthwile stop, a must-see while in Lima.
This is an amazing place if you got the right guide. Visit is priceless considering all you see and learn. The impressing Library, with its hand-written huge and old books give you the welcome. A great opportunity to explore life in the Colony times, and just a few steps from the Plaza de Armas, real centre of Lima.
At first glance at the church I thought it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen with its pristine towers and magnificent architectural structures. On the outside of the church vagrant children and the homeless where out side begging for money, while little old ladies in there customary street garb were handing out flowers or stickers or post cards of Pope John Paul II and then expecting you to pay them. �Oh the typical Latin American plaza, gotta love um!� I thought while entering the church.
The first thing I noticed once I got into the church was the interesting smell that engulfed the waiting room while we waited for the tour guide to great us. It was kind of that mildew smell that you smell while going into an unoccupied house, or a room people haven�t used for a while. When the tour guide finally got there the group of tourists all paid there three soles fifty centavos to take the tour and away we went. The first thing we visited was the tomb of Francisco Pizarro; this less then saintly man was the man who single handedly conquered the entire Incan empire by slaughtering countless Incan civilians all in the name of God. �Thank god the church wasn�t named after him, or was it,� I pondered while staring at his very small coffin surrounded by bullet proof glass. The coffin its self was maybe five feet in length, meaning Pizarro must have been about 4�5�. The tour guide pointed out that the typical height of people back then was a lot shorter then it is now, and that Pizarro was of average height back in 1532.
We then went though out the church. There were at least 25 beautiful shrines in the sanctuary which in its self was a grand splendor almost from imagination. Each shrine was created by each archbishop of Lima and each had great significant history not only in the Catholic Church, but in a global stage since the first shrine was created during 17th century.
After that we went into some chambers that the priests used and looked about the chambers. There was a lot of old art of saints and priests and things of a holy nature. I looked at some old manuscripts and found it curious how the Spanish language changed since 1532.
This church was also still a functioning church as well as a museum, so many things that occur in a church were also occurring like nuns strolling the halls and people praying.
Towards the end of the tour the tour guide took us to the catacombs underneath the church. This was my favorite part of the whole trip. When you enter the catacombs you walk down this deep dark underground cave, all of a sudden the walls that you are looking at start turning into bones. Millions of human bones line the walls in there. They had many pits there. The walls of the pits where all made of human skulls and at the bottom of the pit there was filled with skulls in an arrangement of artistic splendor. Death filled the room. You where surrounded with the remains of more then one-hundred thousand people. This was the most real, most truthful, most frightening experiences I ever experienced. It was also one of the best.
After the catacombs the tour guide took us back to the entrance. When I left the church that day, a sense of euphoria overcame me. �Did I just experience that? That was such a strange feeling I had, hum lets go eat some pollos ala breza, con papas and go back to the hotel.� I asked my friend David. �That sounds great� said David, as we walked down the street to the nearest restaurant that served chicken.
very nice place to visit the church is big i liked the tiles in the hall ways but if u are going just for the catacombs go to europe instead becuase i think its obvious that the other poeple reviewing this site have never been anywere besides peru. the cata combs are linked to the firehouse and congress and were toledo lives very large but what u get to view is very small so its not worth many pics
Don't be bothered by the many little children as you walk through the square, you may choose to buy inexpensive key chains and finger puppets on your way in. The church is huge, when I was last there you were able to take pictures but no flash please. Unlike the Cathedral in Cusco where your camera may be confiscated. Here you may view the tomb of Pizarro, and even light a candle at one of th side altars. The catacombs have a very impressive array of bones all arranged nicely so as to not look too macabre. The gold and silver used here are incredible. Look up as in any historic church and enjoy the magesty that surrounds you.
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