Iglesia de La Compañía


If Arequipa’s cathedral seems too big, an interesting antidote is this diminutive Jesuit church on the southeast corner of the Plaza de Armas. Proving that small can be beautiful, its facade is an intricately carved masterpiece of the churrigueresque style hatched in Spain in the 1660s (think baroque and then some). The equally detailed altar, completely covered in gold leaf, takes the style further and will be eerily familiar to anyone who has visited Seville cathedral in Spain.

To the left of the altar is the San Ignacio Chapel, with a polychrome cupola smothered in unusual jungle-like murals.

Next door, and accessed via Calle Santo Domingo, the beautiful, semi-outdoor shopping center Claustros de la Compañía continues the ornate theme.

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