This is one of many colonial catholic churches in Lima. The Catholic religious congregations were each allotted a piece of land in the early days of the city. Most of the congregations erected monasteries, convents, or churches in honor of patron saints. MJ, my dad and I visited a bunch of them as we walked around the city.
One of the best-preserved churches, San Francisco was built in the baroque-style of the late 1600s. It has several gilded side altars and an impressive lattice dome. It has a very cool library with a collection of ancient religious texts, some of them brought over in the first wave of Spanish priests after the conquests of the Incas.
Unfortunately, the church didn’t allow any photos of the inside of the building. I really wanted to photography the library. You have no idea how hard that was to only look and not capture it with my camera.
One of the more interesting areas of the church was the catacombs. These were part of Lima’s original cemeteries built under the church. They estimate that there are 75,000 bodies buried under the church and many are exposed and stacked in strange patterns in different pits. I did sneak a photo of this area…see below.
Human remains in the catacombs: