The yellow and white 17th-century Convent of Saint Francis is one of the most striking of Lima's Colonial-era churches, not to mention one of the few that survived the 1746 earthquake. A mandatory guided tour takes visitors through many highlights, like an extraordinary library with 20,000 books, many of them centuries old, and a museum of religious art with a series of portraits of the apostles by the studio of famed Spanish painter Francisco Zurbarán. You'll also find carved mudéjar (Moorish-style) ceilings, and cloisters lined with azulejos (glazed ceramic tiles) from Seville. The most memorable aspect of a visit is without a doubt what lies underneath the compound. Beginning in 1546, before the main cemetery was built, this was a burial ground for priests and some other original residents of Lima. As many as 25,000 bodies were interred here, and a walk through the catacombs reveals creepy displays of bones, like a round well neatly lined with skulls and femurs. Allow 1½ hrs. to see it all, including waiting time for an English-language tour.
Museo del Convento de San Francisco de Asis de Lima
Ancash s/n (Plaza de San Francisco)
Our Rating Neighborhood Centro Hours Daily 9:30am–5:30pm Phone 01/426-7377 Prices S/7 adults, S/3.50 students; guides available in English and Spanish Web site Museo del Convento de San Francisco de Asis de Lima
MapAncash s/n Lima
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.