The San Agustín Church in Arequipa is a temple of Colonial origin that is located in the city, province and department of Arequipa. This Church was built in the 16th century, although it has undergone major modifications throughout its history; the most important occurred in the 18th century and involved the construction of a new facade.
Although both constructions left a beautiful temple standing, that one suffered the consequences of the 1868 earthquake, which destroyed a large part of the religious structure; Currently, from the original temple, only the 18th century façade and the original sacristy remain.
Architecturally, the San Agustín Church in Arequipa is built, thanks to the use of white ashlar. The facade of this church presents a typical mestizo baroque design that developed in Peru. In that one we can see a confluence of several bas-reliefs that are sculpted in the same material as the religious group.
Inside, the sacristy of the temple is striking, since that, at an architectural level, is one of the few examples of religious constructions, with an octagonal plan, that are recorded in Peru. The Sacristy is covered by a beautiful dome and on the walls that make it up, beautiful canvases that have been worked by members of the Cusco school are hung.
As part of the internal decoration that makes up this temple, there are pieces such as the beautiful main altar, which, like its analogues inside the church, has a marked neoclassical style. The main altar has a fine carving and is covered with applications made in gold leaf. An important collection of religious canvases is also part of the temple’s ornamentation, which has accompanied this church since its inception, and which have survived the different natural disasters that it has had to go through.
They are also part of the religious group that accompanies this temple, a series of cloisters that are located near the church. Those cloisters are the testimony of the existence of the old Lauretana Academy, as well as of the Bar Association that previously settled in this place. These cloisters have recently been restored and are currently part of the National University of San Agustín.
Whoever wants to know this beautiful church in the city of Arequipa has to go to San Agustín street, which is just 5 minutes from the Plaza de Armas. The San Agustín Church in Arequipa is located at the intersection of that street with Bolívar Street, in the urban area of ??Arequipa. The Temple can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon and on Sundays, it opens its doors from 8 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from five in the afternoon until 7 at night.
The parishioners who want to visit this church, in its main holidays, can go to the temple, especially during the month of October, when the Lord of Miracles is honored.
Intersection of San Agustín and Bolívar streets, Metropolitan Arequipa (one block from the main square).
The San Agustín Church in Arequipa was inaugurated in 1575. Fray Avencio Villarer, in his work Los Agustinos en el Perú (1548-1965), affirms that the church of San Agustín was founded on August 23, 1574. However, Viceroy Toledo suspended its construction for lack of royal permission and prohibited from opening its doors and ringing the bells.
Thanks to the Independence of Peru, the Lauretana Academy of Studies was installed in the church. Later, it was reduced to a room that served as the headquarters of the Bar Association. On July 15, 1827 it was occupied by the College of American Independence. Finally, on November 11, 1828 the National University of San Agustín was opened.
In 1899, the Catholic Ladies rebuilt the church after constant threats to convert it into a theater after suffering the cataclysm of 1868. The main facade was remodeled because it lost much of its coronation.
As of the very strong earthquake of 2001, it was decided to restore it.
Gaspar Baez, master bricklayer, built the church building. For this reason, the façade dates from the middle of the 18th century. The use of white ashlar predominated. Inside, the ornate dome, its neoclassical altars, colonial canvases, its high altar with fine carvings and gold leaf applications are what most highlight the beauty of the enclosure.
Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 9:00 – 12:00 hours.
- Masses in the church of San Agustín. Masses
- Exhibition of the Blessed Sacrament
- Parish Secretariat
- Catechesis of Preparation
- Masses on Television
Other Churches of Arequipa
Since colonial times, the city of Arequipa stood out for its numerous churches, temples, monasteries, and convents. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the incidence of seismic phenomena made architects give up the simple translation of European designs and forced them to gradually incorporate the use of ashlar and give prominence to thick sloping walls, reinforced with buttresses, in order to better absorb the seismic shock. In the case of doorways, arches and other ornamental elements, the easy carving of the ashlar allowed to risk a greater profusion of details. The result was the construction of safer and at the same time imposing buildings, with architectural characteristics and artistic features typical of the place, which today is the pride of Arequipa.
The current design of the Arequipa Cathedral dates from the 17th century. It is a complex architectural complex made of stone with Gothic brick vaults, partially combined with ashlar. Its facade occupies the entire north side of the Plaza de Armas. It is distinguished by its two tall and sharp towers and by the ashlar arches in the lateral corners of the atrium.
La Compañía Church
Located at the corners of Exercises and General Morán streets, this temple is the oldest and most important testimony of religious architecture with the use of ashlar.
The church of La Compañía de Jesús is distinguished by the rich ornamentation of its pediment, of the mestizo plateresque type. On the tympanum of the side portal there is a relief with the image of Santiago Matamoros, to whom the church is dedicated. The entire building was made of ashlar, with semicircular vaults and half columns that support the upper boarding.
Santo Domingo Church
The first Doctrine missionaries arrived in Arequipa were Dominicans. Its first temple had two destruction due to seismic causes: 1582 and 1604.
The façade is characterized by the delicate carving of vines and rosettes, conjugated with cantuta flowers and trumpeter angels, around the sober image of the saint.
Church of San Francisco and the Third Order
This church had its first construction in 1569, directed by Gaspar Báez. It consisted of a single domed nave and a domed sanctuary. It is shaped like a Latin cross with a dome over the transept. On the cover there are mestizo sculptural motifs, together with the figures of San Francisco and Santa Clara worshiping the host. The Church of the Third Order preserves a valuable colonial library.
La Merced Church
The church and convent of La Merced were founded in 1548. The church of La Merced is distinguished by a massive dome that rises above the transept of the nave and by its curious Mudejar-style portico carved in ashlar.
Santa Teresa Church
It is characterized by the large buttresses that support the church on the side of Calle Peral. The exterior part has had architectural modifications but the interiors retain the original characteristics. Its church boasts a delicately carved stone baptismal font.
Santa Rosa Church
The monastery of Santa Rosa was founded on June 12, 1747. It is located between San Pedro and Santa Rosa streets. It has a church that preserves many original mestizo baroque carvings from the 18th century.
Its building in ashlar keeps original artisan features derived from the mestizo baroque. The priest’s house adjoining the temple, dating from the 19th century, is famous for having the Liberator Bolívar stayed there during his official visit in May 1825.
In the main square of this traditional town, stands a picturesque church founded on January 29, 1750. It only has one nave, with a simple façade that has columns flanking the door.
Its doorway, carved in ashlar, with angels and flowers in an attitude of praise, is one of the most original of the mestizo baroque style of Arequipa. Inside the church, flowers and cherub heads frame the figures of saints that are part of the columns that support the dome.
If you travel to Perú, we also recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in the city of Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.