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Arequipa is well knowed as world cultural heritage since november of 2000 when UNESCO appointed the "Centro Histórico de Arequipa" as world heritage and Peruvian heritage as well. The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic "sillar" rock, represents a masterpiece of the creative integration of European and native characteristics, crucial for the cultural expression of the entire region. Exists many places to visit:
The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a private monastery of nuns of the Order of Saint Catherine of Siena founded in 1580 and the first nun and owner was Doña María de Guzmán, widow of Diego Hernández de Mendoza, decided to retired into the monastery. In 1964 the first Spanish nuns entered. History tells of the intake of poor nuns and from ladies of the city, who without embracing the religious life entered into the Monastery to exert their virtues. In 1582, Arequipa suffered a severe earthquake and the Monastery was badly damaged. In spite of that, the retirement was kept. Then, a period of suffering started during which the nuns themselves repaired their rooms. Due to lack of money the chapel was not repaired and the "Holy Sacrament" was exposed in a hut made of straw.Now is opened to public and it's located on Santa Catalina Street, it's the most popular monastery in Arequipa so anyone here can bring you information and directions. Exists a regular schedule for visiting the monastery :
Regular price is about 10$ USD. Remember that a part of the monastery is being occupied by nuns. For more information visit www.santacatalina.org.pe
The Monasterio de la Recoleta is a Franciscan convent founded in 1648, and later rebuilt after the earthquakes. With tall brick red and white steeples, it boasts cloisters with sillar columns and serene gardens—four of the original seven are still there. Among the many exhibits are mummies, paintings of 12 Inca emperors, and a collection of pre-Inca artifacts, such as totems, funeral masks, and textiles. Set back a bit is the Amazonian museum, with objects found in the Amazon basin, such as crocodiles, piranhas, and indigenous clothing. The Dominicans’ library holds more than 20,000 volumes, including rare works from the 15th century. One-hour guided tours are available in English, French, and Spanish.The Museo Santuarios Andinos (Museum of the Andean Sanctuaries) is best known for Juanita, the Ice Maiden of Ampato. Nearly 600 years ago the girl was buried in the ice at more than 20,000 feet after being ritually sacrificed by Inca priests on the volcano Mount Ampato . In 1995 she was discovered in nearly perfect condition after the volcano eruption melted the surrounding ice. This discovery has lead to huge insights into Inca culture, and she is currently housed in a glass freezer, surrounded by burial items including doll offerings. Guided tours are required. The museum also features numerous other impressive mummies and artifacts from the Inca Empire.