The Church and Convent of Santa Catalina is situated on the street with the same name: Santa Catalina Angosta s/n, approximately 100 meters from Cusco Cathedral.
Founded in 1605, the church and monastery had to be rebuilt after the earthquake of 1650. The church treasures beautiful Baroque altars and a magnificent pulpit. The altars were the work of masters Diego Oquendo and Pedro Martinez de Oviedo (both XVII century.) Its oil paintings are signed by Juan Espinoza de los Monteros and Lorenzo Sanchez de Medina in the second third of the seventeenth century.
The Church and Convent of Santa Catalina was built over an important Inca site, the “Aqllahuasi” or “House of the Chosen Ones”- it was a place where the most beautiful women, usually virgins, of the Empire were concentrated. The women were destined for different functions, such as: serving the Inca in different aspects, serving chichas, cleaning the enclosures; others were given to the Inca warriors as a reward for good work and others were offered to the gods as sacrifices. In addition, the women in the Acllahuasi had to keep the Inti Raymi´s fire lit throughout the year.
It has a golden altar of cedar mixed of mixed styles, in the central upper portion there is the image of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" and below Santa Catalina and Santo Domingo. It has a pulpit carved in cedar and other four smaller altarpieces, all gilded.
It has a magnificent museum and also, the nuns are known to make exquisite sweets of marzipan and almonds.
Visits are done during Mass times (at 8:00a.m. or 6:00p.m.). The church doesn´t charge for visits.