he streets of Ayacucho
, with their inspiring rosary of churches, help banish the tiredness and difficulties of altitude. The beauty of each church sparks a desire n you to keep walking and discover the charms of the next, to hear the whispered prayers of the faithful within it, and maybe even to bend down prostrate in front of a divine and forgiving saint.
Walking in the City
The oldest churches in the city were built in the XVI century, dating from the arrival of the first religious orders. In general, these churches combine Spanish, Latin and Moorish elements, embellished with indigenous details such as stones carved with local flora and fauna motifs. While inAyacucho
you shouldn't miss visiting the cathedral with its Baroque Renaissance facade, Santo Domingo in Mudejar style, San Agustin in Renascentist style, San Francisco de Paula with one of the most beautiful pulpits in Ayacucho
and, La Compañía, built with only one nave and a baroque façade of pink and gray stone.
Colonial Mansions (Casonas):
Built by wealthy Spaniards who extracted mercury from the mines in the neighboring department of Huancavelica, but set up home in Ayacucho
due to its benign climate. Despite the unstoppable passage of time, the houses still maintain much of their old grandeur. The following mansions are essential viewing:
AYACUCHO - PERU
The Casona Castilla y Zamora,
was built in 1677 in the Portal Municipal of the main square. Some studies maintain that the old grapevine in one of its courtyards was the first brought to Peru by the Spaniards.
The Casona Chacón,
has two large and magnificent courtyards with solid stone XVII cetury decorative arches. Located in the Portal Union on the main square, nowadays it is home to the Joquin Lóoez Antay Museum of Popular Art.
The Casona Jáuregui
has a unique main doorway due to various original architectural elements, such as the balcony supports adorned with animal forms and the crown with a two-headed- eagle on one of its arches. It is located in Jirón 2 de Mayo Nº 210.
the craft quarter, full of weavers and potters, has fine views of Ayacucho
and the surrounding countryside.
The Marqués de Mozobamba Palace;
has a solid sculpted stone wall constructed by Indian builders and reminiscent of Inca work. This was the first mansion in the city and is believed to be the oldest palace on the American continent.
AYACUCHO - PERU
The Raimondi Puyas forest:
his park, about 120 kms from the city, is over 400 square hectares in area and has about 120,000 puyas (plants), which can grow up to 14 meters tall, and can take between 80 to 100 years to flower.
The Wari Archeological complex
20 kms northwest of the city, this complex was the ancient
capital of the Wari Empire, where three storey high stone structures, aqueducts and the remnants of an old amphitheater can be admired.
20 minutes walk on the Ayacucho
-Huanta road, this site was home to the first human settlers on the continent.
Quinua Village and the Pampa de Quinua (Quinua Plain)
A bucolic land of potters and farmers about 32 kms. from the
city. In its Plaza de Armas (Main Square) you can visit the place where the Spanish signed their surrender to independence forces and about a kilometer out of the town, the plain where the battle of Ayacucho took place can be visited.
About 120 kms. from Ayacucho
and one of the best preserved Inca cities in Peru, this was a political and religious enclave built by the Inca Pachacutec when he defeated the Chanca Confederation.