cloisters and corridors under the Andean sun: Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa, Perú
In 1580, just four decades after the Spanish founded the city of Arequipa in the highlands of Perú, the Monastery of Santa Catalina de Siena was established. Wealthy families paid lavish dowries in order for their daughters to become nuns here. (The existence of servants' and slaves' quarters, along with the nuns' lodging, testifies to the curious luxury that accompanied the isolation here.) A veritable city-within-a-city, this complex has been open to the public since the 1970's.