Sistine Chapel of America in Andahuaylillas: A Jewel of Baroque Art

19 de May de 2023

The Sistine Chapel of America is well known for boasting a baroque art style that will impress more than one visitor.

This religious site, named as the Church of San Pedro Apostle, is located in the district of Andahuaylillas. Just by seeing its facade, you will be incited to enter it and when you set foot in it, you will be surprised by the beauty that it exhibits in its interior.

History of the Sistine Chapel of America

At the end of the 16th century the Sistine Chapel of America was built. The exact year of the beginning is not yet known, however, it is known that it could not have been later than 1626 because this date is within the signature of an ancient canvas.

It is known that the purpose of the construction of this church was to evangelize the inhabitants of the place. Where murals were painted to educate with Christian ideology of the Spaniards to the indigenous inhabitants, descendants of the Incas.

After that, the church experienced some inconveniences due to the earthquake of 1950 and 2008. In those years, work was done to preserve this church of extraordinary beauty.Después de eso, la iglesia pasó por varios inconvenientes a causa del terremoto de 1950 y 2008. En esos años se trabajó en la preservación de esta iglesia de belleza excepcional.

In these times, there is a route known as the Circuito de barroco andino and the Tour to the south valley. That takes you to visit this church with other similar and archaeological centers of the city of Cusco.

Architectural and Artistic Features of the Sistine Chapel of America.

At the entrance you will see a church with attractive details and three crosses symbolizing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In its architecture we can observe that it has a popular renaissance style, which presents a single nave. The roof has naturalistic decoration, floral and fruit trees that distinguish the area.

In this church there are unique treasures that stand out for their great artistic and cultural value: .

  • Mural Painting, this can be seen in the front of the church and in the interior (nave and chapels). In this one it emphasizes "The Annunciation" painted in the pinion of the choir.
  • Canvases, most of them belonging to the Cusqueña School that narrate the life of San Pedro. They emphasize the one of the Baptism of Christ of 1626 (the oldest) and Archangel San Miguel of 1628 painted by Luis Riaño.
  • Major altarpiece, with carvings of baroque art and covered in gold leaf. This one has the figure of the Virgin of the Rosary.
  • Organs, these represent the "King David and the Queen", as well as the "Angels".
  • Triumphal Arch, this one frames the main altar and presents the decoration of the Virgin Queen of the Angels.
  • Baptisterio, where the inscription "I baptize you in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, amen" is noted. This has the translation from Latin to Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Puquina.
St. Peter the Apostle Church

Why is it called the Sistine Chapel of America?

The Church of San Pedro Apostle is known as the Sistine Chapel of America because it is home to some of the most impressive artwork you will ever see. Among them are canvases and mural paintings that tell various Christian stories.

According to the version of several historians, this space has these amazing works because it was a way to convince the indigenous people to follow Catholicism.

Where is the Sistine Chapel of America located?

This church is located in front of the main square of the district of Andahuaylillas. Being part of the province of Quispicanchi, in the region of Cusco.

How to get there?

To get to know this church, you can take the following options:

  • On your own: Take a bus from the hospital bus stop. Those that take you to Andahuaylillas and ask to get off at the bus stop that leaves you near the church (one hour trip).
  • Travel agency: this is one of the best options because you will have a private vehicle and more options. Like Illapa Culturas Andinas that plans and organizes your trip with the best tour packages.

Tours that include the visit to the Sistine Chapel with

Experiential tourism in the Andean communities of Peru: this tour offers 15 days of travel.

With a complete itinerary from the arrival in Lima, visit the most important sites of Cusco, Huchuy Qosqo, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu, Puno with its most attractive islands and among other wonders that details the trip. Among these is the visit to the "Sistine Chapel of South America".

What to Do and See in America's Sistine Chapel

When you visit the Sistine Chapel of America, you will first be captivated by its architecture. In the Renaissance-style facade and baroque art inside.

The most recommended dates to visit this colonial church are:

  • Semana Santa, because during these days you can find various typical dishes of the Andean region and also delicious desserts such as maicillos, sponge cakes, sighs, empanadas and others that sweeten your palate.
  • Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador, celebrated on May 15 each year as the main patron saint and in honor of agriculture.
  • Festivity of the Lord of Qoylluriti, during the months of May and June there are dances that together with the beat of music bid farewell to their deceased relatives in the church of San Pedro Apostol. With a pilgrimage of dancers and faithful to the snowy Qolquepunku.
  • Anniversary of Andahuaylillas, celebrated on December 19 of each year. Throughout this last month you can enjoy artistic presentations, craft fairs, typical food stalls and family entertainment spaces.

Why visit the Sistine Chapel of America with

The travel agency Illapa Culturas Andinas is a company with more than 25 years committed to sustainable tourism service. The same one that offers you the most outstanding tours of the south in Peru.

Admission fee to the Sistine Chapel of Andahuaylillas

To be able to access the Sistine Chapel of Andahuaylillas, you have to take into account that the entrance is bought in the same religious space. This has a cost of about 15.00 soles (Peruvian currency).

Admission hours

The church of San Pedro Apostle of Andahuaylillas can be visited from Monday to Sunday. From 7:30 in the morning until 17:00 in the afternoon.

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