Archbishop's Palace - Museum of Religious Art
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Archbishop's Palace - Museum of Religious Art

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Archbishop's Palace - Museum of Religious Art

In Inca times, the palace of Inca Roca was located in this place. After the conquest, the palace was partially dismantled to build the colonial house of the Valverde Contreras y Xáraba family, Marqueses of Rocafuerte and is currently the Archbishop's Palace.


It has a stone perimeter wall and inside there is a large Renaissance patio with stone arches and tiles on the walls. It is adorned, in the middle, by a stately pool that is located in a preferential place. It has important works by the painter Juan Zapata and other artists from the Cuzco School. It is recognized because between its perimeter walls is the "The Stone of the 12 Angles".



Located in the historic center of Cusco, on Hatun Rumiyoc street without number, one and a half blocks from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco.



In the 20th century, the first Archbishop of Cusco, Felipe Hermosa y Sarmiento, acquired the palace with the purpose of using it as the Archbishop's Palace and in 1966, the Archbishop, Monsignor Ricardo Durand Flórez, decided to change the use of the property and used it as a museum. For this, he went to the Cusco collector José Orihuela Yábar who had an important collection of Cusco colonial painting. In this way, the Art Museum of the José Orihuela y Yábar Foundation was formed. Subsequently, the museum received a donation of paintings from the Viceroyalty of Cusco from the Archbishopric, the Seminary of San Antonio Abad, and the parish of Santa Ana. These donations served as the basis for the collection of the current Museum of Religious Art of Cusco, which since 1966 works in this building.



The Museum of Religious Art is considered Cultural Patrimony of the Nation, it still preserves the bases of Inca constructions. It has fourteen rooms in which it exhibits a diversity of artistic treasures from different eras. Among the most outstanding works such as "El Cristo Crucificado" by Alonso el Cano, the collection of canvases of "Los Signos Zodiacales", by the renowned painter Diego Quispe Tito, the collection of "Corpus Christi" by an anonymous author. In addition to the collection of the author Marcos Zapata, a painting from Ayacuchana and another from Quito, both decorated with silver frames. A pluvial cape Embroidered in gold and silver threads. Sculptures, wood carvings, among other works of Colonial Religious Art.


Something that stands out on the outside of the walls of the Archbishop's Palace is the stone of the 12 angles, this stone shows us that the Incas were experts in masonry, due to the abundance of lithic resources. It should also be noted that the stone of the 12 angles draws attention, due to the cutting and fitting of the 12 stones that are around this stone, which are perfectly male-shouldered.


The stone is located on the public road, so there is no cost to visit it. You can visit it at any time of the day, the structure of this architectural work must be respected. So you are not allowed to touch it.



1st Golden Room: An imposing stately room with large windows, a coffered ceiling, a carved wooden arch that divides the room in two, where there are various brocaded canvases and gilding techniques on the frames. In the first room you can see paintings dedicated to the Virgin Mary; In the second environment there are paintings of angels and archangels and among them two harquebusier archangels in courtly costumes.


2nd Room Garden: In this room is one of the most particular paintings of the museum, "The garden of San Antonio Abad" where the simile is represented between the university education given in the seminary of San Antonio Abad del Cusco and the cultivation of an orchard.


3rd Libertador Room: In this room, paintings with idyllic landscapes with colorful birds and flowers stand out, in turn highlights elements such as the cot where the liberator Simón Bolívar slept, as well as the military paraphernalia that makes illusion to the time of independence.


4th Origins Room: In this room there is a time line with various dates of historical significance, in turn the room has landscape-themed canvases.


5th Corpus Christi Room: This room is one of the most emblematic of the museum, it has a set of twelve paintings that represent the celebration of Corpus Christi in the city of Cusco, with the characteristics of the celebration of this festival in the city. . The canvases were painted at the end of the 17th century commissioned by Bishop Manuel de Mollinero y Angulo.


6th Chapel Room: The chapel was built after the seat was promoted to the seat of the archbishopric in 1957 and is consecrated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. The room has an 18th century baroque altarpiece, carved in cedar wood and gilded with 22-carat gold leaf, you can also see a series of paintings of the Virgin and Child attributed to Marco Zapata, one of the most highlights of the Cusco school of the eighteenth century.


8th Sacristy Room: In this room that serves as a sacristy, there are the elements for worship, as well as a collection of canvases in glass and bronze formats.


9th Zodiac Room: This room contains canvases attributed to Diego Quispe Tito, one of the most representative teachers of the Cusqueña School. This series was painted at the end of the 17th century and inspired by Flemish engravings. Each of the canvases corresponds to a month of the year and a season of the old world, a zodiac sign and a parable from the new testament. This room contains nine of the twelve canvases that must have made up the series.



  • From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Cost: Adults: S/. 10.00 - Student: S/. 5.00
  • Religious Ticket: Includes visit (Cathedral, Triunfo Temple, Sagrada Familia Temple, San Blas Temple, San Cristóbal Temple, Archiepiscopal Museum).
  • Adults: S/. 50.00 - Students: S/. 25.00

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The museum exhibits up to 200 colonial canvases with religious themes. Some of the most famous are: 'La virgen de la leche' (anonymous) and 'Crucified Christ' (anonymous). Both works belong to the so-called 'Cusco school of painting', which copied large European canvases but also introduced Andean elements to these classic paintings.


The stone of the 12 angles is part of the architecture of the archiepiscopal palace (religious art museum of Cusco). This Inca structure is a few steps from the place. Its fame is due to its large dimensions and the precision with which it was polished to fit into the wall. The visit to this tourist attraction is free. You just have to walk there (on Hatun Rumiyoc street).



Remember that it is not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. At the door there are specialized guides who, for an additional cost, can give you all the information you need to fully understand the historical value of the pieces on display.


If you are interested in colonial art, a good option is to visit the different churches and temples of Cusco, such as: the church of San Pedro, the church of Santo Domingo, the church of San Francisco, the church of Santa Ana, the church of La Merced, the church of the Company of Jesus and, of course, the Cathedral of Cusco. Admission to all these temples is free during mass hours (usually Sunday mornings).


Best Tours in Peru

Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.

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