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Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco
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Private Tour: Historic Lima and Larco Museum
Ranked #24 of 354 things to do in Lima
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: This church and monastery of St. Francis (circa 1674) is known for its catacombs that contain the remains of more than 70,000 people and a magnificent library that houses thousands of antique texts.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Would have loved to have spent more time here, as this church has an obvious rich history within Lima. Wonderful photo opportunity!

Thank Thomas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful church"
in 97 reviews
"human bones"
in 43 reviews
"last supper"
in 49 reviews
"guided tour"
in 113 reviews
"harry potter"
in 26 reviews
"underground catacombs"
in 24 reviews
"old church"
in 33 reviews
"church of san francisco"
in 23 reviews
"interesting history"
in 26 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 65 reviews
"interesting place"
in 22 reviews
"guinea pigs"
in 31 reviews
"on display"
in 27 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 22 reviews
"great tour"
in 34 reviews
"plaza mayor"
in 20 reviews
"central lima"
in 19 reviews

1,408 - 1,412 of 5,353 reviews

Reviewed June 14, 2013

You must take a tour to enter this church. Request an English tour and you may have to wait, but they will start one after they get a few people. The church is over 200 years old and the baroque style structure is impressive. There is a library with very old books that you can enter. But the highlight is the Catacombs in the basement. You will pass through narrow passageways into rooms that have hundreds of human bones. After a few rooms, it culminates in a room that has a circular pit that is supposedly 2 meters deep and is filled with human bones and skills, neatly arranged in a circular pattern. Only one of a few places in the world where you can see such human skulls and bones. You should not miss this church when visiting Lima. A few blocks from the city center.

1  Thank Tourhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2013

The monastary itself is in poor repair, but the reason you'll come here is to see the extensive catacombs under the church. The price of entry is low and includes a guided tour in English. One word of warning - if you are claustrophobic or queasy around skeletons they you may wan to skip.

Thank brianysf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

One block from the plaza mayor and situated in the historic centre of Lima, the monastery is known for its catacombs. They have a huge silver stand/frame used to carry procession which apparently weighs more than a ton.

Thank Karjanmed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 10, 2013

Although this still functioning monastery has many significant aspects, such as the library, art work, ornate rooms, etc., the highlight was definitely the catacombs which lay beneath the buildings. The catacombs were definitely haunting and quite gruesome, with human bones and skulls in view at every turn. It was disturbing to find out that the graves are cleared every 20 or so years (unless the deceased has paid for an indefinite burial in the monastery) and the bones are deposited in common holding areas. At one point the bones were categorized and counted, only to find that over 25,000 people are buried here.

Although an entrance fee is charged, it was a bit disappointing to see how poorly maintained parts of the monastery were. For example, the library was in terrible condition - given the library holds one of the oldest bibles still in existence, you would think that they would take better care of the collection. Instead it felt like a scene from Harry Potter, filled with dust and cobwebs!

As other reviewers mentioned, it was unfortunate that photos were not allowed in the main part of monastery. Even though photos are not allowed, I found it surprising that they have theatrical performances (Romeo and Juliet was playing when we were there) which didn't seem that religiously respectful. With that said, I can completely understand the photo restriction in the catacombs, simply due to the fact that it is like an open cemetery where human remains are visible.

Thank WeylandFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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