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Arequipa

Arequipa is located to the South of Peru, on the sides of the volcanos Chachani and Misti and the Pichu Pichuest peak. It is commonly known as the "white city" owing to its white walls made of ashlar, a volcanic stone. Arequipa is a nice city which is lively day and night. At the heart of the historic centre, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we can find different temples and baroque style colonial houses. The city was called Arequipa by the first inhabitants, the aymaras, because of its location "the place behind the pointed mountain". Founded by the Spaniards in 1540, the city prospered rapidly as it is located on the road where the Potosí ore passed. The city started to decline because the ore production lowered, and it finally opened textile and alpaca wool factories. It also won fame during the independence fightings.

Sights

Plaza de Armas: It is considered to be one of the most beautiful of the country, surrounded by the Cathedral and several arches. In the centre, there is a bronze foutain with a "Tuturutu" statue sat on top.

Cathedral : It is made of ashlar with brick vaults and underwent several blazes and earthquakes. It was then rebuilt in 1868 in neo-classical style.

Iglesia de la Compañía : The complex gathers different buildings built by the Jesuits. This baroque style church was built in 1573. It hosts 66 paintings of Cuzco's school. The complex is also made up of two restored cloisters, which shelter handicraft shops and local products.

Museo Santuarios Andinos : This museum hosts a 500-year-old Inca mummy, of a 12 or 14-year-old girl who was found on top of the Ampato volcano by Miguel Zárate, José Chavez (archeologist), and Johan Reinhard (anthropologist) on September the 8th of 1995.

Casa del Moral : This house dates back to the XVIIIth century and is part of the oldest and most important architectural monuments of the Baroque period of Arequipa. Visiting this house is interesting espacially because it has preserved its colonial furniture.

Monasterio de Santa Catalina : This convent was founded in 1580 in order to host girls from well-off families of Arequipa.

Museo de ArteVirreinal de Santa Teresa : Located in one of the cloisters of the Monasterio de Santa Teresa, the museum gathers one of the best selections of paintings, sculptures, goldsmithery, silversmithery, everyday life items, and decorative items of the country.

Nearby attractions

Sabandia : This village is surrounded by large terraces as well as the Misti, Chachano and Pichu Pichu volcanos. Some houses have preserved some features specific to the Viceroyalty or the XIXth century Republic style.

The Valley of Andagua volcanos : This valley spreads over about 50 km and has 40 volcanos. The highest point, the Coropuna, reaches 6377 meters of altitude, and is the highest peak of the South of Peru.

The Cotahuasi Canyon : 375 km to the North West of Arequipa, this canyon is considered to be the deepest of Peru (3535 meters) and disposes of a great biological diversity.

Petrologies of Toro Muerto : It possesses about 5000 engraved stones which represent birds, animals...

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