Monday, April 5, 2010

Santa Catalina Monestary

One of the most expensive but coolest sites in Arequipa is the Santa Catalina Monestary. This monestary was closed to the public for 371 years, and founded in 1579, fourty years after the city was founded. It has housed poor nuns and very rich nuns alike and it is a small city within a city. The monestary was destroyed and rebuilt many times due to earthquakes and many of the wealthy nuns had their own little apartments with kitchens and little patios. There are street names and everything! When the nuns decided to open the monestary to the public they made the majority of it into a museum to fun the changes the monestary was making. For example, for the past fourty years the nuns have had electricity and modern stoves! We opted against a guide and wandered around reading the signs provided to us and explored the intimate quarters where these nuns had lived out their entire adult lives. I´ve uploaded some of the photos that were coolest to me...of course the ones to do with cooking!!!!

an old stone stove that had room for a fire underneath

the nuns were famous for their baked goods, almost each one had atleast one oven
next to the oven you can see some cooking tools on the counter

this device is a water purifier - the upside down cone is made from volcanic rock, water seeps out of the rock and into the pot below - it takes a while but seems pretty effective

another old stove

the last type of stove the nuns used before the monestary got electricity

It was a beautiful visit, even though it did cost us a whopping 30 soles it was totally worth every centavo. It was crazy to see this well preserved way of life from the past. Its hard for me to imagine a life behind those walls but I imagine for some women it was an option that involved a measure of freedom they never would have experianced outside of those walls. I plan on uploading the rest of the photos to facebook the next time I get the change which is much quicker and more efficient that blogspot at getting photos on the web.

No comments: