Arequipa stands for Andean baroque, since in her the most beautiful temples and mansions of this style flourished. Walking through the streets of its historic center is to contemplate a showcase of ashlar constructions with covers of spectacular decoration.
The list of properties that we could mention is very long. But here we propose a tour of the main examples of the Andean baroque in Arequipa. Can you come with us?
The beauty of the Andean baroque: Church of the CompanyCloister of the Church of the Company
The Church of the Society of Jesus and its cloister are, perhaps, the main example of Andean baroque in Arequipa. It is located in one of the corners of the Plaza de Armas de Arequipa, specifically, in the corner that forms between the Portal of the Municipality and the Portal de Flores.
It is an imposing religious complex built in white ashlar in the area. It has a beautiful temple and cloisters that make everyone who knows them fall in love. It is an enclosure that was built between 1590 and 1699.
Of the whole set highlights its cover, perfect example of Andean baroque or mestizo architecture. Well, although it is a cover with Christian motifs, in it we can find iconography of Andean origin, such as the mermaid. In addition, like the rest of the construction, it is carved in ashlar from the eruptions of the Misti volcano.
The ashlar is very porous and easy to work, but it does not facilitate deep carving. This fact caused that the sculptures that we found in its cover-altarpiece are superficial and flat.
It has three cloisters communicated with each other, in which at present we can find restaurants and craft shops typical of the area. But, above all, they are a sample of the impressive art that was developed in Arequipa.
Santo Domingo TempleSanto Domingo Temple
A few meters from the Church of the Company of Arequipa we can find the Temple of Santo Domingo, another example of the Andean baroque. It was built on the site occupied by several previous temples of less noble materials. It was also built in sillar.
Of the highlights, above all, the side cover started in 1634, larger than the main cover. Both covers have profuse carved leaf litter decoration, mythological beings and Christian iconography. They are, like that of the Company, altarpiece type covers.
Likewise, It is interesting the angel that crowns a kind of temple that exists in the corner of the atrium that separates the temple area from the street.
Casona Tristán del PozoCasona Tristán del Pozo - Carlo Ghio / Flickr.com
As for the examples we can find of civil architecture, the House of Tristán del Pozo, built in the early 18th century, stands out. This is very close to the Plaza de Armas, what evidence its importance. So, if we walk through San Francisco Street, we can find it on the first block.
It is currently the headquarters of a bank, but you can visit its three courtyards and the rooms that surround the main courtyard. In them there is an exhibition of painting and sculpture. In addition, the visitor can get an idea of how was the distribution of the rooms of these houses, open to the central courtyard and, in turn, linked together.
The whole house has huge drawer walls to support the weight of the huge ashlar vaults that close the rooms. Her highlights its main patio and the huge front and exterior windows with profuse decoration of natural motifs.
Casona del Moral, another example of Andean baroqueCasona del Moral
Further away from the Plaza de Armas is the Casa del Moral. It is an impressive 18th century building and that it owes its name to an old moral that supplied the inhabitants of this house with blackberries. It was a moral that was in its main courtyard and of which today we can only see the trunk.
Today it is a house-museum And visiting it is one of the mandatory plans if you go to Arequipa. Inside, in addition to contemplating the distribution and architectural system used in these types of houses, you can see authentic art jewels: colonial and republican furniture, paintings from the Cusco school, shields and ancient maps of America.