Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Church & Monastery of St. Francis - Peru

Happy Tornado week y'all,

I tell ya the weather we have had this week has been absolutely crazy! Sadly an 11 month old died this week as a result of all the tornadoes that have touched down this week, its pretty unbelievable but I do believe today should be the last day we should have to worry about it for awhile.

I'm still not feeling better, I am so over it at this point but don't know what to do short of going to the doctor to make it go away. I think its just a really bad cold and needs to run its course because although I feel awful its not the same awful every day so maybe it really is going to go away soon.

In the meantime we haven't been up to too much on account of the weather, little bit of yard work when it permits, getting other things in order, stuff around the house.. you know.. we are just so exciting.

So today I thought I would stop in and blog about the Church & Monastery of St. Francis that Tanya and I visited in Peru. I will admit I wasn't all that interested at first, with having recently been to Savannah and Charleston we saw a ton of old churches and as much as I love that kind of stuff I was thinking something different might have been the way to go. Tanya insisted that we go and assured me that it would be nothing like the other churches we had recently seen.. so I took her word for it and boy am I glad I did!

Along with a tour of the church we also took a open air bus tour there (don't worry this time I wore sunblock!). Taking the bus tour there was fantastic as it went through a lot of places that I had not been and probably would not have had the chance to see. This trip was from Miraflores to central Lima, have a look...

Top of the church outside Parque Kennedy in Miraflores.

The parks in Miraflores are just gorgeous, so well groomed and taken care of. I believe this is also Parque Kennedy.

See the plane in the front yard?

The fruit stands are in plenty and let me tell you when you walk by them the delicious aromas are like no other. The fruit there isn't like the fruit we have at home, it smells so fresh and fragrant. I stayed away from most of it because I was there for a short time and was nervous of bacteria's and what not that our bodies are not use to in North America but the avocados were the best I've ever had.  

As you can see from the pictures no two buildings are alike. 

The traffic and driving in Peru in like nothing I have ever seen.. its absolutely absurd. As bad as you think you've seen it.. times it by 5000000000 and then you have Peru! I kid you not.

Isn't this building incredible? It was a gift to Lima by Italy or France I believe. Sadly it sits empty.

 I guess I should have done a blog with pictures of just the trip there! The buildings in Lima are simply incredible, not at all what you would expect to find. I must say that my perception of visiting a third world country was completely turned around once I arrived. I will say that yes most areas a much different from the touristy areas I visited and the living conditions in Peru vary greatly.

It was really hard to get pictures of the churches and what not from the bus when you were right beside them.

The Presidential palace. If you look hard you can see a guard outside the door in the front. This was very much like you would see at any presidential palace with the guards, presentation, beauty.. simply amazing.

Some of these pictures aren't great but I really wanted to share them anyways because the buildings are too amazing not to.

Alright, are we ever going to get to the church right? The answer is yes but I will tell you now that sadly you could not take pictures in the church and so if you would like to see some illegal ones hop on over to the rebel formally known as Tanya's blog and check them out!

The church.. FINALLY!

Tanya neglected to tell me that thousands of pigeons resided outside of this church knowing full well I would have never gone! I HATE birds!


The church and monastery of St. Francis are part of Historic Centre of Lima, aside from the church and monastery it also contains an incredible library and catacombs. In this church Jude the Apostle was venerated, at the feast of St. Jude Tadeus a one and a half ton weighing silver stand is carried round in procession by 40 people starting from the convent. 

The church construction began in 1673 and was completed in 1774 and has survived many earthquakes and managed to stay intact. Lima sits on the ring of fire fault line which causes many earthquakes, this is why there are no tall buildings in Peru. This church is known for its architecture a high example of Spanish Baroque.

The convents library is world renown, the wood work and space is exquisite! It possesses approximately 25,000 antique texts some of them predating the conquest. As you can imagine we were able to step inside the library but most of it was blocked off and we unable to really explore. Some of the notable books that reside in this magical place are the very first Spanish dictionary and the Holy Bible edition from 1571-1572. There are also many amazing biblical paintings within this amazing building. While we were there more and more were being uncovered and restored. 

While we were there we were also able to tour the catacombs. I had mixed feelings about this.. not because of the small enclosed space full of bones but because it felt sad, I didn't know that I felt right about making a spectacle of so many peoples resting place. The amount of bones was incredible, they were separated and sorted according to bone, for example all of the femurs were together, all of the skulls, etc. Lima's first cemetery were the catacombs beneath the monastery it contains an ossuary and some secret passage ways that are said to connect to the cathedral and the Tribunal of the Inquisition. The catacombs remained in use until 1808 when a city cemetery in Lima was founded, it was discovered in 1943 and there are said to be approximately 70,000 burials in there. Bones line up along narrow hallways underneath the church and one area contains several large deep holes filled with bones and skulls arranged above each other in a circular pattern.

The church was amazing, although we didn't get to tour all of it we did manage to see a ton and it was an amazing experience. Having said that it was also extremely hot and muggy in there and with not a lot to eat and no water in hand I had a moment where I thought I might pass out! I didn't and Tanya found me a coke.. god love her! A bottle of pop never tasted so good!

Outside the church there were many people selling stuff, I couldn't even think of stopping to get something.. not with all the birds!

Traffic like this.. always.. everywhere.

Look down towards China town.

Well guys that's it for pictures today.. I know its a lot of pictures but I feel like no matter how much I tell you and describe things you will never understand it as much as you will by seeing pictures. I don't want you all to have the same misconceptions I had before I went there. I will admit I am showing you one side of things, I didn't visit the shanty towns or go out of the touristy areas, mostly for safety reasons. I would have loved to have visited some of those areas and been able to get a well rounded view but it just didn't happen this time. 

Again if you are looking for more information on Peru, I would check out Tanya's Blog and I plan to invest in some books around the history and possibly some of the places I went while I was there and I will definitely make sure to share those titles with you. 

I plan to be back tomorrow with more, I think we may have a few more posts about Peru to deal with before we move on and get back to real life.. which right now isn't too exciting so be thankful I have something to write about! 

Looks like deck building will commence tomorrow, Jason and I have dentist appointments in the morning and then I will be around for the rest of the day calling about apartments and crap in our soon to be new location.. sucks.. big time! I am off to have some dinner, my hubby made stir fry for dinner and I couldn't be more exciting!

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday! Happy hump day!

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