Convento de Santa Teresa

Top choice in Cochabamba

The noble, timeworn Convento de Santa Teresa is straight out of a Gabriel García Márquez novel. Guided tours (around 45 minutes) of this gracefully decaying complex allow you to see the peaceful cloister, fine altarpieces and sculptures (from Spanish and Potosí schools) and the convent church. However, it's not so much the quality of the architecture or art that's noteworthy, but rather the challenge to your imagination in picturing and conceiving what life was like for the cloistered nuns here.

After the original building, built in 1760, was destroyed in an earthquake, a new church was built in 1790 with an excess of ambition, but was too big to be domed. Beginning in 2014, much of the building was slowly and painstakingly restored; several boarded up passageways and unused pulpits have been revealed. There’s still a Carmelite community here, but its handful of nuns are now housed in more comfortable modern quarters next door.

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