The house of Moral in Arequipa
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The house of Moral in Arequipa

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The house of Moral in Arequipa

The city of Arequipa is famous for the many palaces and colonial mansions that were built there during the Spanish occupation. One of them is the Casa del Moral, which was built in 1730. Its main characteristic is that it is made of ashlar, a volcanic stone with which many buildings in the city center were built. Inside there is a collection of various objects and treasures from the colonial era. Currently it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Arequipa.


The Casa del Moral is a baroque building located in the city of Arequipa, Peru and built around 1730. It is currently used as an exhibition gallery. It exhibits different spaces of an 18th century house, as well as furniture from the period.



The Casa Moral museum is one of the most famous haciendas – museums in the city of Arequipa. It was the home of the famous conquistador Diego Peralta Cabeza de Vaca. Its name is due to the existence of a blackberry tree inside. It was built at the end of the 18th century using neo-classical characteristics. The presence of ashlar (volcanic material used in many Arequipa buildings), its gardens, canvases from the Cusco school and other treasures of great historical value stand out. It is worth highlighting the existence of more than 2 thousand copies of maps of America from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is one of the most famous mansions in the so-called 'White City'.



The Moral House is called in different ways by researchers and inhabitants of the 'White City'. It is recognized as the 'Oldest Museum House in Arequipa'. It is also known as 'Landmark in the history of Arequipa' by the Argentine architect Ramón Gutiérrez. In addition to being a cultural center of great importance and value, it is one of the symbols of this city in southern Peru.



The Moral house is located on Calle del Moral 319, at the intersection of Bolívar and Moral streets (historic center of the city of Arequipa).


How to get?

Starting from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa you can reach the Moral house by walking just 5 minutes (500 meters away). You just have to take ‘San Agustín’ street and turn onto Bolívar street. The museum is located at the intersection with Moral Street.



The Moral mansion was built at the end of the 18th century on a site located in the historic center of the city. In its first years it functioned as the home of the conquistador Diego Peralta Cabeza de Vaca (one of the founders of Arequipa). Later, it was ordered to be rebuilt by Don Manuel Santos de San Pedro and his wife, Doña Rosa Bustamante y Benavides. It was completed between 1735 and 1740. Previously it was also the home (which was not preserved) of Mrs. Rosa Bustamante y Benavides and her first husband.


In the following two centuries, the mansion became part of the families of Doña Rosa Bustamante and the Pacheco Alatrista family. Starting in the second half of the 20th century, the house passed into the hands of the couple Arthur and Barbara Williams who reinforced its architecture and decorated its interior with colonial pieces of great historical value. In 1944, the Banco del Sur acquired the property and turned it into a museum. Today, it is one of the most famous monuments in the city.


Architecture and interior

The architecture of the Moral House has neoclassical characteristics with marked local influence. Its structure is made of ashlar, a volcanic stone that proliferates in the region. Its façade stands out with relief figures of angels, a puma, a bird and two crossed keys; which form a shield.


The interior of the museum stands out for the exhibition of colonial and republican objects from the 18th century. Its high ashlar vaults stand out as well as carvings of Christian scenes on doors, windows and anagrams. His collection of canvases from the 'Cusco school of painting' also stands out.


One of its main treasures is its library of 3 thousand volumes of Hispanic literature as well as a collection of maps made by famous cartographers from the 16th and 18th centuries. Due to its location in the historic center of Arequipa, it belongs to the area declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.


Price and opening hours

The Casa del Moral museum opens its doors to the public from Monday to Saturday from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The entrance ticket costs 5 Peruvian soles for foreign tourists and 3.50 Peruvian soles for national tourists.


Interesting data

A part of the mansion (which was used as a stable and orchard) currently functions as the Arequipa fire company.


As was characteristic of the 18th century mansions in Arequipa, the Moral house has large patios adorned with stone paving stones of peculiar beauty.


The objects exhibited in the museum such as furniture, canvases, carvings and others; They cannot be touched by tourists. Photographs inside are allowed. Remember that these are historical objects of important cultural value.


Some advices

The city of Arequipa is famous for its many mansions and museums from the colonial era. In addition to the Moral House, you can also visit other attractions such as: the founder's mansion, the Goyeneche palace, the Sabandía mill, among others.


The city of Arequipa also offers other types of tourist activities such as hiking, visits to archaeological sites, museums and more. The best tourist attractions in this region are: the Colca Canyon, the Santa Catalina Monastery, the Chachani Volcano, the Misti Volcano, the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries, among others.


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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