Santo Domingo is the 2nd best known church here, after San Francisco. Is located near the Plaza de Armas too, and the convent and courtyards can be visited in guided tours. Just buy your ticket and wait till the group is big enough. Inside the building you will find 2 beautiful and quiet patios with amazing tiled walls (original spanish tiles of the 17th century). Here is the tomb of Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martin de Porres (one of the few black saints).
This colonial church is maybe nicer inside than outside, tough its fron facade is outstanding. But as it is in a narrow street you can't really appreciate it at its best.
In this church (at the original one) took place the first mass ever in Lima (1534).
The first thing that strikes you about this church when you see it for the first time is the salmon red color. The church is built on the site where Santa Rosa, the parton saint of Lima was born. The Dominican sister used the original home as a hospital for the poor of Lima. Some of her relics and stories about the miracles she performed in the church are stored inside of the church. Entrance to the church is free.
Iglesia de La Merced (La Merced Church) is another beautiful colonial church. The splendidly sculptured facade is certainly the most impressive I´ve seen in Lima!!!
The church is located at Jiron de la Union, the most important pedestrian street in the city, which connects Plaza Mayor to Plaza San Martin.
Very close to the Plaza de Armas, if you follow Jirón Conde de Superunda, you will find the Santo Domingo church. Francisco Pizarro was the one that gave the land where the church stands to the order of Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo took longer than usual to get built, due to different factors, such as the earth quakes in the city, so you'll be able to see many different styles whithin the church.
We saw many other churches on our tours around Lima. The architecture was varied - some modern and some colonial. I don't have much information about these churches but thought the various architecture was interesting.
We were walking down the shopping street, ‘Jiron de la Union’ (between Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas), when we noticed the impressive façade of the La Merced church. After we had admired its beauty from outside, we entered the church, but a mass was going on so we just stayed at the back, and didn’t have a closer look at the inside of the church…
La Merced was the first church to be built in Lima about 500 years ago, and it is said that it was the site where the first mass took place. During the years, the church has been damaged by fire and earthquakes several times, but always rebuilt and restored. Most of today's church dates from the 18th century...
The Santo Domingo Church, the most beautiful and the only one (with the Cathedral) that you can't forget to visit. In this church lived San Martin de Porras (the first black saint) and San Rosa de Lima.
Saint Rose of Lima was the first saint to be named from the America's. Her story and history all took place in Lima. Santo Domingo or The Basilica of Our Lady of The Rosary is where her relics remain. You can view the skull of St. Rose of Lima inside the Basilica. We took a very long and extensive guided tour of the Basilica from a local woman who was at the church offering to lead guided tours. The church was very beautiful inside and is considered to be the best preserved in Lima. The building dates back to 1540 when its original construction began.
If you are interested in the story of St. Rose of Lima this church should not be your only stop. The Shrine to St. Rose is just a few blocks away where you can visit the area where she lived and ministered and see her residence.
If you are looking for an interesting souvineer there are tents and stalls around the Basilica where you can buy Rose scented rosary's.
St. Rose of Lima is the most revered saint in Peru. Here at the Shrine and Church to St. Rose of Lima you can learn her story, of how she burned her face with ashes to take away her beauty. The story of the lemon and orange tree, and also the story of the well which still exits today. People visit the shrine to pray and show respect for their patron saint. Many leave prayers and notes on cards and toss them into the remains of the well here at the Shrine.
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