Did you know that the history of a city begins with its cathedral?
Throughout its almost five centuries of antiquity the catedral has enclosed different myths, stories and relics that can only be felt closely by visiting this monument, which was built in sillar stone in center of the Main square of Arequipa.
The Cathedral of Arequipa was built immediately after the city was founded in 1540 but the current design only began in 1612 and culminated in 1656.
It is currently one of the main buildings of neoclassical style with architectural influence of neo-Renaissance and Gothic styles in the city.
Here we tell you five curious facts that you should know about this monument for your next visit.
1.- Arequipa’s cathedral was destroyed 10 times:
This was due to natural tragedies such as earthquakes and fires. The first tragedy was the earthquake in 1583 and the last in 2001 with an earthquake of 8.1 on the Richter scale, that made that the left tower fall completely.
This tower was rebuilt in 2002.
2.-Inside the cathedral we can find a religious museum:
A Museum that treasures 400 years of religious history of Arequipa.
The museum offers precious jewels and historical relics, within them the gold and silver filament clothing of the Archbishop of Arequipa Sebastián Goyeneche (1818).
We also find Gregorian chants in Latin from 1722 and a census carried out in 1813 and others.
3. We can find a tubular organ made from Loret in 1854
In the cathedral of Arequipa we can find a tubular organ made in 1854 in Belgium by Francois Bernar Loret in perfect condition.
The organ of the cathedral of Arequipa is 12 meters high and has 1206 tubes, it contains three sculptures at the top, one of them represents King David and on the sides two apocalyptic angels.
It should be noted that only conservation work has been done but the organ was not damaged by all the earthquakes. So lucky 🙂
The Loret organ is currently under special maintenance. It consists of being played every Tuesday and Thursday from 15:00 to 16:00 hrs. And Saturday 17:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m.
4. The cathedral clock:
The Clock is located under the bell tower and is a model similar to the Big Ben clock in England and was created precisely in London in 1854.
The uniqueness of this relic lies in the number 4 since instead of use the Roman symbols with the regular number “IV” this is represented as “IIII”. This was done so that there is no confusion between “VI” and “IV”.
Another important detail is the hole on the side of the number nine of the clock, which was originated when in 1950 a bullet went through the glass sphere during the Arequipa revolution.
5.- There is a cemetery under the cathedral:
Under the lustrous marble floor of the Cathedral of Arequipa a hidden catacomb is found.
We must remember that at that time, it was customary to bury bishops and also the wealthiest people under the churches; how we can read in the book of the historian Guillermo Galdos Rodríguez “A city for history, a history for the city, Arequipa in the 16th century ”.
But it was after the 2001 earthquake that some journalists and researchers managed better to check and sniff these areas, where they found some exposed human skeletal
The anthropologist Manuel Huanqui Hurtado was one of those who was there, recording the bones found in videos. Also they found that he catacombs were also connected to another places such as nearby houses and with the main Plaza.
What you should know to vist the Catedral of Arequipa?
First you should know that in addition to what we mentioned here, the Cathedral of Arequipa offers other jewels such as the Main altar, made in white Italian carrara marble by Felippo Moratilla.
Also it has an impressive pulpit, which is a real marvel carved in wood by the French master Buisine Rigot. It dates from 1879 and in it you will be able to see the demon crushed by the Divine Word.
In addition, in the central central nave we find beautiful carvings representing the twelve apostles.
Do not forget to appreciate the great lamp brought from Seville to Arequipa.
The entrance to the Cathedral is free.
But we recommend to visit the Its religious museum: Open hours: 10 am- 4:15 pm. here you must pay a entrance fee (S/10 soles).
The visit to the museum culminates with the walk to the bell tower of the Cathedral. A unique opportunity to contemplate from this point and height, and from its city center,the city of Arequipa and the volcanoes that surround it.
Ready to visit our beautiful city?
It will be a pleasure!
GIARDINO TOURS – BLOG
Adepia 2017: El reloj de la catedral.
El Pueblo: 2015 “verdades y misterios de los cementerios dela catedral” – Mamani Lino.
Moreno historiadora de Arte: “Descubrimos la impresionante catedral de Arequipa“
Vizcardo Janet Rpp- Noticias: „Los secretos del Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa“
Museo de la catedral