Centro Histórico de Arequipa

arequipaEl centro histórico de Arequipa, construida en roca volcánica sillar, representa una integración de técnicas y características de construcción europeas y autóctonas, expresadas en la obra admirable de amos coloniales y Criollo y albañiles indios. Esta combinación de influencias se ilustra con paredes sólidas, arcos de la ciudad y bóvedas, patios y espacios abiertos, y la compleja decoración barroca de sus fachadas.

Declaratoria del Centro Histórico de la ciudad de Arequipa como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad

Durante el 24 periodo de sesiones del Comité del Patrimonio Mundial, realizado en Cairns, Australia, entre el 27 de noviembre y el 2 de diciembre del 2000, a través de la Decisión 24COM XC1. se declaró al centro histórico de la ciudad de Arequipa como patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. El valor universal excepcional del centro histórico de la ciudad de Arequipa fue sustentado en los criterios i) y VI) de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial.

Síntesis histórica del bien

Arequipa was founded on 15 August 1540 by a handful of Spanish conquistadores. The site was in a valley that had been intensively farmed by pre-Hispanic communities, a fact that has contributed to the topography of the place. The layout of an indigenous hamlet has survived close to the Historic Centre in the district of San Lázaro.

Major earthquakes have marked the key moments of change in the development of Arequipa architecture. It is thus possible to identify five periods of development: the foundation period as a village (1540-82), the period of Baroque splendour (1582-1784), the introduction of Rococo and Neo-Classicism (1784-1868), modern empiricism and Neo-Classical fashion (1868-1960), and contemporary design. The city underwent its principal development in the era of the viceroyalty and it was an important economic centre in the southern Andes. Its role in the history of the Peruvian Republic was, and continues to be, crucial. The Historic Centre has been a centre of popular civic rebellions and demonstrations, as well as being the birthplace of many outstanding intellectual, political, and religious figures in the country.

The first buildings in Arequipa were constructed using adobe and stone, with roofs of straw, sticks, or mud. Some of these still exist in the old district of San Lázaro. Later building materials were brick and straw, still found in some examples in the Convent of Santa Catalina. The natural disaster of 1582 caused a major change in favour of antiseismic construction, introducing a systematic use of sillar, a pink or pearl-coloured volcanic stone that was freely available. Earlier this material had only been used in the doorways of the main church and in a handful of dwellings. Being soft, light, thermic, and resistant, it now provided a solution to the problems caused by earth tremors, as well as being pleasing aesthetically.

Valor universal excepcional(VUE)

Criterio i: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The ornamented architecture in the historic centre of Arequipa represents a masterpiece of the creative integration of European and native characteristics, crucial for the cultural expression of the entire region.

Criterio iv: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The historic centre of Arequipa is an outstanding example of a colonial settlement, challenged by the natural conditions, the indigenous influences, the process of conquest and evangelization, as well as the spectacular nature of its setting

The Historic Centre of Arequipa consists of 49 original blocks of the Spanish layout (excluding three blocks adjacent to the Mercado San Camilo not considered to be adequate because of their style). In addition there are 24 blocks from the colonial period and the 19th century. A buffer zone has been indicated, consisting of the surrounding areas of more recent construction.
The core of the historic town is the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) with its archways, the Municipality, and the Cathedral, the most important Neo-Classical religious building in the country, constructed in the mid 19th century on the ruins of an earlier Baroque church. At one corner of the plaza there are the church and cloisters of La Compañia, considered the most representative ensemble of the Baroque mestizo period at the end of the 18th century.

The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a spectacular religious citadel, integrating architectural styles from the 16th to 19th centuries and having an area of 20,000m2 . The structures of the complex of San Francisco include a small square, the main church, the convent, and the cloisters of the third order, dating from the 18th century. The chapels and convents of Santo Domingo date from the 16th to 18th centuries, San Agustín, La Merced and the church of Santa Maria are from the 17th century; Santa Teresa and Santa Rosa are examples of 18th century architecture. In addition the 18th century Puente Real (now Puente Bolognesi) and Puente Grau are also built of sillar.

The Historic Centre contains some 500 casonas, of which over 250 are listed for protection. These were generally built in the 19th century on the sites of earlier colonial buildings destroyed in the 1868 earthquake. The casonas are characterized by semi-circular arches and vaulted roofs, generally made of sillar stone. Sillar structures have always been built with thick walls, in domestic buildings between 1m and 1.5m and in churches over 2m. With the use of lime mortar the walls acquired firm consistency, further increased by brick or sillar-stone vaults, justified by scarcity of wood. The heavy structures have been enhanced with ornamental designs in large thick rounded frames or deep protrusions and sculptures on flat surfaces. Light combines with such features to create a dynamism which alleviates the heaviness of the structure and makes it more interesting. The lateral doorway of the Iglesia de Santo

The merit of Arequipa architecture is not limited to the grandeur of its religious monuments. It is also in the profusion of dignified casonas, characteristic well proportioned vernacular houses. The urban space penetrates the interior of the city blocks through large doorways and hallways into the courtyards, where the carvings of the facades are reproduced, thus accentuating spatial continuity. Doorways and windows are flanked with pillars and crowned with protruding pediments that blend with the large walls. The ornamental economy of the porches harmonizes with the shape of the vaults, the projecting cornices, and the carved corbels. Narrow window openings allow light to enter the semi-circular arches or vaulted roof spaces. Together with the monumental ensembles, streets, and squares the casonas ensure the harmony and integrity of the townscape and give the city an exceptional urban value.

The historic town of Arequipa has undergone many natural disasters and most of its buildings have been repaired and rebuilt numerous times. Nevertheless, the continuation of traditions and the use of local workmanship and materials, the volcanic sillar stone, have given the place an exceptionally coherent character, resulting from the integration of many factors. At the same time Arequipa is characterized by exceptionally fine sculptural work, of which authentic examples survive from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Similarly, much of the urban fabric still consists of the traditional vernacular buildings (casonas), which are part of the character and identity of the old city.

The churches have a lively religious function because the people are extremely religious. Many of the casonas, on the other hand, have lost their original use as the residences of wealthy people and have been restored and adapted to administrative or cultural functions. Another question concerns the colour scheme. The white colour was mainly applied to the carved stone ornaments, used mainly in the archways and in parts of building elevations. The rest was generally plastered and painted. In the 1960s and 1970s the custom was to remove the plaster rendering, creating a false image of the architecture, as well as removing the necessary protective layers. Now attitudes have changed and the aim is now to maintain the original appearance of the buildings.

As a result of various pressures, such as commerce, traffic, and the lack of efficient maintenance policy, planning, and control, the centre city has suffered from overcrowding, slums, and traffic jams. This is causing serious hazards to the historic fabric and has already resulted in the loss of several buildings of historic value, as well as in the neglect and mismanagement of others.


Último informe del estado de conservación (2014)

Último informe del Perú sobre el estado de conservación (2014)

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