March 26, 2017

3001 PERU (Arequipa) - Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (UNESCO WHS)

3001 Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa and volcano Misti

Founded in 1540 in a valley that had been intensively farmed by pre-Hispanic communities, Arequipa was highly important during the Colonial period, and after Peru gained its independence from Spain, was declared the capital city of Peru from 1835 to 1883. The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock (white and pink), represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons, the result being a unique style called Escuela Arequipeña.

The World Heritage site consists of 49 original blocks of the Spanish layout. In addition there are 24 blocks from the colonial period and the 19th century. Major earthquakes have marked the key moments of change in the development of Arequipa architecture. Can be identified five periods of development: foundation as a village (1540-1582), Baroque splendour (1582-1784), introduction of Rococo and Neoclassicism (1784-1868), modern empiricism and neoclassical fashion (1868-1960), and contemporary design.

The core of the historic town is the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) with its archways, the municipality, and the cathedral. At one corner of the plaza there are the church and cloisters of La Compañia, the most representative ensemble of the Baroque mestizo period at the end of the 18th century. The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a spectacular religious citadel, integrating architectural styles from the 16th to 19th centuries. The complex of San Francisco includes a small square, the main church, the convent, and the cloisters of the third order.

The chapels and convents of Santo Domingo date from the 16th to 18th centuries: San Agustín, La Merced and the church of Santa Maria; Santa Teresa and Santa Rosa; Puente Real (now Puente Bolognesi) and Puente Grau are also built from sillar. The merit of Arequipa architecture is not limited to the grandeur of its religious monuments. It is also in the profusion of dignified casonas, characteristic well-proportioned vernacular houses; the centre contains some 500 casonas.

Mario Vargas Llosa, one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Arequipa, on March 28, 1936. He rose to fame in the 1960s with novels such as The Time of the Hero (La ciudad y los perros, literally The City and the Dogs, 1963), The Green House (La casa verde, 1966), and the monumental Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral, 1969). It should not be forgotten either The War of the End of the World (La guerra del fin del mundo, 1981).

Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa - UNESCO official website

Sender: Denise
Sent from Oranjestad (Aruba), on 24.02.2017  

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