This post, along with many recent ones, are belated reports from January and February. Mom and I went to another Arequipa monastery, La Recoleta.
La Recoleta is a remnant of the Franciscan missions to Peru, and was built in 1648. In it's time, it must have had a front row seat on the Chili river that runs through the city. Now, the church faces an odd neighborhood with a mix of nice homes and shoddy shacks.I'm not a big museum person, but this monastery actually had some amazing, although small, exhibits. One included pieces from the church itself, like this crown:
Another room had artifacts from the Franciscan missionaries' trips to the Amazon, including spears, traditional indigenous wear and other things.
One room was full of stuffed jungle animals. If I didn't have a phobia of spiders, snakes and giant insects, I would have stayed and studied the exhibit. Pretty interesting.
But my personal favorite from the Amazon collection was this ridiculous missionary map, which has a line dividing Peru's coast with the "The Fearsome and Mysterious Jungle Full of Savage Tribes":
The monastery also had pre-colonial artifacts and artwork from the famous Cusco School. This mummy, one of many Incan sacrifices found atop one of the many southern Andes peaks, sat in a glass cabinet in not the best conditions. She reminded me of 500-year-old Juanita, only without all the show.
chomba (chicha jar), supposedly the oldest found in Peru.
Reading in my Lonely Planet guidebook as I write, I come to find out that the monastery has a huge library of 20,000 books, some from as early as 1494. I guess I'll be going back there to check it out soon.