The Convento and Templo de la Merced

After living here a year, I’m trying to start exploring all the churches in Cusco and the region. Most are centuries old and provide a glimpse into not only the colonial past of the city, but also how Catholicism of the 16th and 17th century intermingled with the conquered indigenous people.

The entrance is plain and non descript, but the inside is spectacular.

Saturday I went to the Convento and Templo de la Merced just a block away from the Plaza de armas. I’ve passed in front of entrance hundreds of times and always thought it was just another boring art museum inside a church.

I was wrong!

After paying the 10 soles ($3 USD) entrance fee, I walked into one of the most beautiful courtyards I’ve ever seen. Actually, it wasn’t so much the courtyard itself as it was the incredibly detailed architecture and the marvelous artwork in the surrounding walkways.

The collection of art and artifacts is definitely worth seeing. Like all the religious sites here, interior photos are prohibited so rest assured that there’s a lot more to see than this!

(Be sure to click on the images below to see them at full, uncropped size.)

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