Tag Archive: Monasterio de Santa Catalina

Sunday Travel Tales

Arequipa, Southern Peru

The White City

Plaza de Armas

Called the white city because many of the buildings are built with silla (white volcanic stone).

El Misti, the most famous of the three volcanoes that tower over Arequipa


Santa Catalina Convent, a city within a city


Home of Juanita, the Ice Maiden

Found in 1995 on the slopes of the Ampato Volcano after the ice melted from the heat of an eruption on Sabancayo, the next  door mountain, exposed her resting place.


Casa de mi abuela (My Grandmother’s house)

We used to stay here on our tours. It’s an example of old world charm. Breakfast in the garden, it is a real rabbit warren of hallways to the rooms.

Bullfighting in Arequipa

Here the bullfighting is not against man, but between the animals. The practice is diminishing.

Arequipa is the gateway to the Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world. There are three earlier posts about this, here, here and here

Sunday Travel Tales

I missed last week because it was New Year; Sort of lots going on. So a Happy New Year to those who come for this feature. Things are back to normal.

During my travels I spent a lot of time in Cusco, Peru. I was based there, I passed through there many times and I lived and worked there twice.

One of my favourite photos was taken there.

Santa Catalina Convent

Paddy Flaherty's Irish Pub

Taken at night with a long exposure from the left window of Paddy Flaherty’s Irish Pub. I used to work there as manager many years ago, about 1999.

Paddy’s was the original Irish Pub in Cusco. The ownerwas Carlos, who got the idea of an Irish Pub when he studied in either England or Ireland; memory fails me in my dotage.

Anyway, a bit of romance. Carlos eventually married one of my tourists. True, I used to take groups on tours around Peru and we usually spent four days in Cusco as some prepared for the Inca Trail. Carlos and a young Australian girl fell in love. She left the tour when we returned from Machu Picchu and stayed in Cusco. That was all in 1997.

A true fairy-tale romance, she met her Prince Charming and that was it; maybe they lived happily ever after, I don’t know because I have long lost contact with them.


The same Santa Catalina Convent in the daytime

The third balconey from the left is the home of Norton Rat’s Tavern, a well known tourist bar run by Jeff, an American. I was a frequent customer there.

Lucia Isabel Rivera de Padilla founded the Santa Catalina Convent (named for St. Catherine of Siena) in 1601 after one she had founded in 1559 in Arequipa was destroyed by the Waynaputina Volcano. Since 1975, the convent has housed a museum of colonial religious art.

The Santa Catalina Convent (Monasterio de Santa Catalina) was built between 1601 and 1610 over the Incan ruins of the ancient Acllawasi, the “House of the Sun Virgins” or “House of the Chosen Girls.”

You’ll see more of Cusco on future Sundays.

Once again, I apologise for the quality of the photos, time ravaged the negatives before I scanned them and now they are gone.

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