19 February 2020

Peru, 11 Years Later: The Churches on Arequipa's Plaza de Armas

As with every other major urban area in Peru, there is a main plaza, called the Plaza de Armas, in Arequipa. It's a massive place, similar to the one in Lima's. And on weekends, people meander and linger here, just hanging out, enjoying being outside the house. And this place happens to have a few churches within walking distance. In a religious country, this is rather convenient.

Like most other main squares, the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa is square in shape, and the main church is on one side. The photos above show you how the other sides look like, with massive long buildings that are occupied by cafes and restaurants. One can get coffee here by climbing up one of the staircases and sitting on a table on the balconies, though what you're paying for here is more the view, rather than the coffee.

The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa sits on the plaza's northern side. And this church happens to be the church that is the most massive, occupying the entire length of one of the plaza's edges. I was told that no other church does this in Peru.

Inside, the church has yellow gentle tones, which was rather easy on the eyes. This church began its life in 1540, so I am not sure whether this was how it originally looked like, or whether it was later updated to look this way. In any case, the interior was slightly hard to catch, as there were a few events that were happening to a touristic visit wasn't always possible.

On the other side of the Plaza de Armas is a smaller church, yet no less impressive. This is the Iglesia de la Compañía, or Church of the Company. This is a baroque church that has a marvellous interior.

There are several eye-catching objects inside, all definitely shiny. I am not religious, so I do not know the significance of these, yet they look very important since plenty of people bow down in front of them all day.

So in case you're in Arequipa, check these places out!

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