Friday, May 01, 2009

One of the most beautiful surprises was our visit to the small Chapel of San Ignacio at the Iglesia de la Campania here in Arequipa, Peru. The outside of the main church is stunning with its deeply carved ornamental facade completed in 1698. Dubbed the Vatican of South America, it's one of the richest in Peru with several altars decorated with gold. Walking inside and turning to the left, we found the San Ignacio side chapel -- one room with an arching ceiling leading up to a fantastically decorated cupola. Cameras are no longer allowed, but I found two images for you to enjoy (and for me to remember).

The facade of La Campania de Jesus (Wikipedia)

The cupola of the San Ignacio chapel, Arequipa, Peru
The cupola of San Ignacio Chapel (Webshots)

Tropical birds and exotic flowers mingle with angels and warriors on every available space, ceiling, all four walls, a work of art from indigenous artists of the time. The result is a paisley effect everywhere the eye looks, a mix of Baroque Spanish and Incan images. Unforgettable.

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