The Monastery of Santa Catalina de Siena in Arequipa, is considered one of the most important and original architectural works of Peru and Latin America, with more than 400 years of history. It is known as "A city inside the city "because inside there are several streets, cloisters, cells, a square with a pool, laundry, cemetery, etc. In its Pinacoteca you can see an important collection of religious art from the continent, as well as numerous paintings of the so-called Cuzqueña School, the maximum expression of the fusion of two cultures, the Inca and the Spanish. It was opened to the public in the year 1970 and receives daily visitors from all parts of Peru and the world.
Visit: Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Arequipa RegionThe Viceroy Francisco Toledo, during his visit to Arequipa, was informed by the Cabildo, about his desire years ago, to found a monastery of nuns. This motivated him to grant the necessary licenses for the foundation of the "Monastery of Private Nuns of the Order of Santa Catalina de Siena". Years later, Doña María de Guzmán, widow of Diego Hernández de Mendoza, beautiful, rich and young woman who had no children, decided to seclude herself in the monastery under construction, giving her all her possessions. On September 10, 1579, the Report and Capitulation of the Monastery's foundation signed between the City Council, Justice and Regiment and the Bishopric of Cusco was made, and the Town Council handed over the four lots owned by the city for its operation; naming Doña María de Guzmán "first town-dweller and prioress of said Monastery".