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Andahuaylillas and its Sistine Chapel

The "Sistine Chapel of America" houses an impressive chapel with magnificent murals and Renaissance artwork.

Portada » About Peru » South Valley of Cusco » Traditional Towns South Valley » Andahuaylillas and its Sistine Chapel


It is located 40 km from the city of Cusco, in the province of Quispicanchi.


Andahuaylillas has two major tourist attractions:

  • The "Sistine Chapel" of America

    The San Pedro de Andahuaylillas church is the main attraction for visitors, because due to the quality of its works of art it is considered the "Sistine Chapel" of America.
    It was built by the Jesuits in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Its architectural structure is classic of small town churches. Its walls are wide, typical of colonial buildings, made of sun-dried mud bricks, a façade adorned with murals and two stone columns projecting toward the main gate. Although its architecture is relatively modest, the decoration of its interiors is the most impressive feature of the building.
    We can mention first of all a painting of the "Virgin of the Assumption", whose authorship is of the historical Spanish painter Esteban Murillo. There are also murals attributed to Luis de Riaño (XVII century) that represent the election of man for glory. To this painter are attributed, in addition, the paintings that decorate the baseboards and a remarkable oil painting of the archangel San Miguel.
    The church also houses a collection of canvases of the Cusco School never seen before, representing the life of St. Peter (with impressive gold leaf frames), a majestic organ, silver jewelry and a baroque altar. Inside the enclosure, there are rooms where there are remains of some Inca construction. Outside, on the western side of the front patio, there are three large sculpted crosses representing the Trinity, the Holy symbol of Catholicism, that is to say: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • The Main Square of Andahuaylillas
    The immense Plaza de Armas is surrounded by leafy pisonay trees (or coral trees) and palm trees. It is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the region. A few kilometers from here is the town of Huaro, where it is said that witchdoctors lived in Inca times. There is a magnificent colonial temple whose mural paintings are by Tadeo Escalante (1803), one of the last masters of the Cusco School.


Admission to the colonial temple is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., every day.
admission fee is voluntary.

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