Convent of San Francisco, Lima

23:33 M.K.Orange 0 Comments



 
 
If you travel to Lima Downtown you come across many churches these churches date back to the Spanish colonial times, one such church is called the “San Francisco Convent” located at Corner Jr. Ancash with Jr. Lampa.
 
 Work began on this church 1673 and completed in 1774 however, the church is no longer as big as it was during the 1940’s development of Lima especially work on the Avenue Abancay caused the destruction of parts of the church or closing parts off which are now used for other things. What is also interesting about this church is that it contains a library that contains over 25,000 texts some even predating the conquest and also displays a bible dating back to 1571.
You will also find a large selection of artwork and colonial styled architecture to admire. Now I bet you are all wondering is that all there is here?? You probably have seen all this before in other churches but wait there is more deep within the subterranean levels lays one of Lima’s first cemeteries.
These catacombs were not discovered till 1943 and are known to contain 25,000 to 70,000 skeletal remains; the reason for this is in the colonial times it was seen as important to be buried beneath a church for religious reasons. In 1808 one of the first public cemetery called Presbitero Maestro (another interesting site located at Jr. Ancash - Barrios Altos, 1611) was opened but the idea of it seemed unusual and people still preferred to be buried underneath the churches till 1821 when don José de San Martín prohibited the use of the catacombs.
 

So that is a brief history of the place but if you wish more details you should take the daily tour which I may add is in English and in Spanish and will only cost 7 soles for adults and 1 sol for children, this tour will take you around the church and of course will show you all the skulls and bones of the catacombs. Just like the tour guild says when entering the catacombs be careful, if you are a tall person like me you will find yourself crouching, believe me hitting your head on those stone arches hurt hahaha. Also I wish to note that taking pictures is prohibited in catacombs and in the church but if you have a quick eye and quick fingers you can take a sneaky shot.

 

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