Santa Catalina Convent...
Shrouded in mystery for 400 years

Convento de Santa Catalina. Arequipa

In the heart of the white city of Arequipa lies Peru's most important religious building: Santa Catalina convent.

A masterpiece of colonial architecture, it has over 29,400 square meters and is the only convent found with a citadel.

Santa Catalina convent is city within a city, a complex of rooms, little plazas and its own streets, named after Spanish cities.

Founded in 1580 by a rich widow -Maria de Guzman- and enlarged in the 17th. century, it remained closed to the outside world until the 1970s, when the twenty nuns or so actually living there decided to open it as a tourist destination in order to support the expenses of installing electricity and running water as dictated by the law and Arequipa's mayor.


Its architecture, predominantly of Mudejar style, reflects a very rare quality found in Colonial buildings, adapted by the Spanish from the Moors.

Santa Catalina convent was a very exclusive and expensive place to stay from the beginning.
To access it, aspirants had to pay a dowry in order to support themselves. Nuns were entitled to up to four servants or slaves and parties were given, inviting musicians to perform in the convent.

It was the refuge of female nobility who decided to close themselves to the outside world and dedicate themselves to prayer. This lavish and rather peculiar lifestyle came to an end when the Pope, tired of the place being an exclusive club rather than a convent sent a Dominican nun to Peru, in 1871, to straighten things out.


So let's enjoy some more Peru Pictures through the work of Peruvian photographer Anibal Solimano.
If you need photographic images from Peru, don't hesitate to contact Anibal through...


Santa Catalina Convent:

Click on the thumbnails for a bigger version of images...



Monasterio de Santa Catalina 1. Arequipa. Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent I

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 2 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent II

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 3 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent III

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 4 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent IV

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 5 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent V

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 6 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent VI

© Anibal Solimano
Monasterio de Santa Catalina 7 Peru Pictures: Arequipa.
Santa Catalina Convent VII

© Anibal Solimano


Santa Catalina convent should be included in your Arequipa travel experience. It's one of the top tourist attractions in Peru and provably the most important of its religious buildings.


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How to Get to Arequipa:

By Air:
Rodriguez Ballón Airport only attends domestic flights. Check Airports in Peru for more info.
From Lima it's about 55 minutes ride.
You could also flight from Juliaca-Puno, Cuzco and Tacna.


By Road:
From Lima, heading south along the Pan American Highway and Pacific coast.


Where to Stay:

There is plenty of hostels and hotels in Arequipa, Peru. Check some of the following...
Hotels:
Find and compare best hotel rates in the city.
Hostels:
Book budget accommodation in Arequipa.




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