Huaro, the church with stories painted on the walls
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Huaro, the church with stories painted on the walls

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Huaro, the church with stories painted on the walls

On October 26, 2014, the inauguration of the artistic lighting of the Temple of San Juan Bautista in Huaro, Cusco took place, sponsored by Edelnor and the Endesa Foundation.


This Temple is part of the Andean Baroque Route along with the Temple of the Company of Jesus of Cusco and the Temple of San Pedro Apóstol of Andahuaylillas.


State-of-the-art LED technology lights have been installed, which means high energy efficiency but great savings in electricity consumption.


Temple of San Juan Bautista

The colonial Temple of Huaro, built between the 16th and 17th centuries, is in the Baroque style and inside there are murals used during the evangelization process and signed in 1802 by the Cusco artist Tadeo Escalante. He was the greatest representative of Cusco mural art of the late 18th century and early 19th century. It is a true prodigy of mural art. The murals measure approximately 3 to 4 meters long by 2 meters high. The art is of disconcerting and terrifying beauty.


There is no other temple known in the country that presents the presence of the devil and death as a conceptual theme, whose presence would rather be a warning for parishioners to choose the right path.


The ceiling of the Temple of Huaro is one of the most beautiful of all Andean painting....it is a late and unrestrained Rococo, where the horror of emptiness populates every corner with colors.


Present at the inauguration of the lighting were the president and the general managing director of Edelnor, Reynaldo Llosa and Ignacio Blanco, respectively, as well as the parish priest of Huaro and Andahuaylillas, Carlos Silva and the entire town of Huaro who celebrated it with music and dance. They all agreed that this lighting will strengthen the devotion of the people and boost tourism in the area.


Art of the Huaro Church

Andean baroque art is born from the fusion of the iconographies and worldviews of the world of the Andes with the Catholicism that came with the Spanish. Both are brought together in walls, paintings, sculptures and artistic expressions with a very specific purpose: the evangelization of the indigenous population at the time of the conquest and the colony.


Several of the most impressive expressions of this art are found a few kilometers from Cusco. There are three churches, San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas, San Juan Bautista de Huaro and Virgen Purificación de Canincunca. These churches, together with La Compañía located in the main square of Cusco, make up the Andean Baroque Route.


They are not the only ones and their geographical location responds to meanings that come from very remote times. In the northern mountains of the department of Lima, for example, there are the so-called doctrinal churches, with walls full of colorful paintings and a deep evangelizing desire. In the case of the Cusco churches, they are located on the route that connects the capital of the Inca empire with Titicaca and with the Madre de Dios jungle. Two routes where gold, silver and coca merchants circulated for centuries, and later, from the 19th century on, crafts, wool and fabrics. In them you can also find beautiful baroque expressions, both in the south of Puno and in several towns that cross the IIRSA Sur towards Puerto Maldonado. It is the heart of commerce, social relations and Andean religiosity where Ausangate also stands out, the highest snow-capped mountain in Cusco and the most important apu or lord in Andean religiosity.


In all these towns, churches were built starting in the 16th century to evangelize the indigenous population. One of those churches, perhaps the most spectacular due to the wealth of mural art, the paintings of the Cusqueña School and several dozen religious sculptures, is the one found in Huaro. The paintings show the religious end: Death, Judgment, Hell and Glory, murals full of color and figures of all kinds. From people-eating monsters to angels. From dragons to unicorns. From flowers to toads. The entrance to the temple and the sight of this religious art continues to provoke, 500 years later, absolute awe.


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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