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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.

Popular Activities at Church and Convent of San Francisco

Get the most out of your time at Church and Convent of San Francisco. Here's a list of some of the most popular activities:

Why don't you think about trying a Full-Day City Tour & Culinary Experience with Lunch or a Full-Day Sightseeing Tour with Pachacamac & Magic Water Circuit?

If you're chasing even more activities, check out our Lima things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Church and Convent of San Francisco


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Top Church and Convent of San Francisco Hotel Deals

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Hotel España SG$51
Hotel España

Hotel España

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

    Located in Cercado de Lima, 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.

    Hotel Diamond Lima SG$103
    Hotel Diamond Lima

    Hotel Diamond Lima

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

      Located in Cercado de Lima, 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).

      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 Cercado de Lima, 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.

        Plaza Mayor Lima SG$76
        Plaza Mayor Lima

        Plaza Mayor Lima

        Jiron Callao 125, Lima 1, Lima, Lima
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cercado de Lima, this hostal is steps away from Jiron de La Union and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away.

          Gran Hotel SG$8
          Gran Hotel

          Gran Hotel

          Av Abancay 554, Lima, Lima
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Pedro Church, Plaza San Martin and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Torre Tagle Palace and Jiron de La Union are also within 10 minutes. Miguel Grau Station is 26 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Maury
            Hotel Maury

            Hotel Maury

            Jr. Ucayali 201, Cercado, Historic Area, Lima, Lima
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cercado de Lima, this hotel is steps away from Jiron de La Union and Plaza de Armas de Lima. Plaza San Martin is 0.3 mi (0.6 km) away.

              Penthouse Apartment
              Penthouse Apartment

              Penthouse Apartment

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

                Located in Cercado de Lima, 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.

                Best in Lima SG$186
                Best in Lima

                Best in Lima

                Jiron de la Union 284 apto 601, Lima, Lima
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cercado de Lima, 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.