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Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina 301, Arequipa, Peru
+51 54 608282
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Monasterio de Santa Catalina Arequipa  Peru

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Tue, Thur 8am - 8pm

Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Arequipa's 16th-century Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a sprawling 20,000-square-meter (215,000-square-foot) complex with courtyards and alleyways connecting buildings that are painted in a rainbow of bright colors. It's one of South America's most impressive structures in the Mudejar style, which combined Gothic and Moorish elements. At first, the convent accepted only young daughters of aristocratic Spaniards, who paid a hefty dowry for their child's education and spiritual training even though only one-third of the girls would go on to become nuns. Those who did would be pampered and protected—many brought their own staff—but they could never again leave the walled complex. Today, Santa Catalina is home to 20 Dominican sisters, and most of the convent is now a museum.