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Church and Convent of San Francisco

Visit this 17th-century monastery complex with a temple and an eerie underground cemetery. It is also home to a convent, an illustrious library and two churches, in Lima’s historic center.

The San Francisco Monastery is a 17th-century church of Spanish Baroque design in the center of Lima. It is a large complex, incorporating a convent, a temple and two separate churches called La Soledad (The Solitude) and El Milagro (The Miracle). The site also contains a library and an underground cemetery. The monastery is part of Lima’s historic center, which was made a UNESCO site in 1991. 

Take photos of the church’s colonial yellow-and-white façade from the patio outside. It is of baroque design from 17th-century Europe. Explore the eerie catacomb beneath the church. It is an underground cemetery where it is said that around 75,000 bodies are buried. It is not for the faint of heart, since many parts of the remains are exposed.

Browse the reputable library in the complex’s convent. It is home to around 25,000 antique texts of religious and cultural importance. Many of these texts pre-date the arrival of the Spanish in South America. One of the library’s highlights is an edition of the Holy Bible that dates back to 1571. See the church’s central altar, which is carved from wood. Admire the corridors of 17th-century tiles from Seville.

The church pays tribute to Saint Jude the Apostle, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Construction began on the church in 1673, although it was not completed until 1774. Despite surviving several earthquakes in its early years with relatively little damage, a tremor in 1970 caused extensive destruction.

It opens daily from morning until late in the afternoon. You can take guided tours of the complex, including the catacombs. The tour of the complex lasts around an hour. There is a small entrance fee.

You can find the San Francisco Monastery in the historic center of Lima. It is just south of the Rimac River and backs on to the Parque de la Muralla (Park of the Wall). Take a bus to the Julián Piñeiro stop just the other side of the river, and cross over the Avenida Abancay Bridge. Nearby attractions include the city’s most important area, Plaza Mayor. It is home to the Government Palace and the Cathedral of Lima.

Would you like to make your stop at Church and Convent of San Francisco even more memorable? Remember to try out some of these things to do:

Take a look at our Lima things to do page to discover even more activities while you're in the area.


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Hotel España
Hotel España

Hotel España

105 Jirón Azangaro, Lima, Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lima Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Church and Convent of San Francisco and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away.

    Inca Trilogy Hostel SG$33
    Inca Trilogy Hostel

    Inca Trilogy Hostel

    145 Jirón Carabaya, Lima, Municipalidad Metropolitana de Lima
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Lima Historic Center, this hostal is within a 15-minute walk of Plaza de Armas de Lima and Plaza San Martin. Plaza Norte Peru and Huaca Pucllana Ruins are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Lima Hostel Located in a Strategic Area in the City of Lima SG$14
      Lima Hostel Located in a Strategic Area in the City of Lima

      Lima Hostel Located in a Strategic Area in the City of Lima

      jiron carabaya 145, 145, Lima, Lima (region)
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Lima Historic Center, this hostel is steps away from House of Peruvian Literature and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.

        Main Square - One Bedroom Apartment
        Main Square - One Bedroom Apartment

        Main Square - One Bedroom Apartment

           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Lima Historic Center, this historic apartment building is steps away from House of Peruvian Literature and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.

          Cabaña Amazon lodge
          Cabaña Amazon lodge

          Cabaña Amazon lodge

          Jiron Huallaga 278, Office 25, Lima, Lima
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Lima Historic Center, this hostel is steps away from Cathedral of Lima and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away. Miguel Grau Station is 29 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Diamond Lima SG$104
            Hotel Diamond Lima

            Hotel Diamond Lima

            Jr. Cuzco, Lima, Lima
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Lima Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Kennedy Park are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              Penthouse Apartment
              Penthouse Apartment

              Penthouse Apartment

              Jirón de la Unión 284, Cercado de Lima, Lima
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Lima Historic Center, this apartment building is steps away from Government Palace and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.

                Exclusive Penthouse Apartment in Lima
                Exclusive Penthouse Apartment in Lima

                Exclusive Penthouse Apartment in Lima

                Jiron de la Union #284, 607, Lima, Lima (region)
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Lima Historic Center, this historic apartment building is steps away from Government Palace and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) away.