Santa Catalina Monastery
Arequipa Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
August 19th, 2009 – by: Linqueen
We also visited the communal lavanderia, or place to do laundry. The lavenderia consisted of a long boulevard with large, halved earthenware jugs, in which the sisters would wash their clothes. We next ventured to the banera, which consisted of a large, stone hole in the ground with steps leading to the bottom. It was in here that the nuns would bathe. The orange tree cloister was a lovely courtyard with mural paintings that cover the arches. We also visited the main chapel, a smaller chapel where the nuns take their religious vows, a large 17th-century kitchen, the communal dining room, and the chapel's choir room. We were also allowed to visit the room where Sor Ana, a 17th-century nun, lived and died.She was beautified by Pope John Paul II, and she is on her way to becoming a saint.
In all, the city-like complex we visited contains three cloisters, six streets, eighty housing units, a square, an art gallery, and a cemetery. The convent, which was only recently opened to the public in 1972, was recently placed on the 2008 World Monuments Watch List of the Most Endangered Monuments. It was placed on the list because it is apparently threatened by structural damage caused by both earthquakes and pollution. To learn more about the convent, you can visit its website at www.santacatalina.org.pe.
Later in the day, we took a taxi to the Mirador (lookout point) in a tranquil suburb of Arequipa, called Yanahuara.From there, we were able to get a few shots of some of the active volcanoes that surround the city. We also enjoyed another serving of helado con queso at an ice cream shop, visited a few markets near San Francisco Plaza to purchase our last souvenirs, and even relaxed while watching a movie in our hostel.
At 7:00, we enjoyed a quiet dinner at the unassuming La Trattoria del Monasterio, a small restaurant cleaved into the outer sillar wall of the Santa Catalina Monastery. Afterwards, we returned to our hostel to pack our bags for tomorrow's trip to Colca Canyon.
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