Arequipa is the colonial-era capital of Peru’s Arequipa Region. Framed by 3 volcanoes, it’s filled with baroque buildings constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. Its historic center is anchored by the Plaza de Armas, a stately main square flanked on its north by the 17th-century neoclassical Basilica Cathedral, which houses a museum displaying religious objects and artwork.
The city was founded on 15 August 1540, under the name of “Beautiful Villa of Our Lady of the Assumption” in the name of Marquis Francisco Pizarro. On 22 September 1541, the monarch Carlos V ordered that it should be called the “City of Arequipa”. During the viceregal period, it acquired importance for its outstanding economic role, and is characterized by the fidelismo towards the Spanish Crown, which honored Arequipa with titles such as “Very Noble and Very Loyal”. In the Republican history of Peru, the city has been the focus of popular, civic and democratic rebellions. It has also been the cradle of notable intellectual, political and religious figures.In the Republican era, it was awarded the title of “Heroic city of the free people of Arequipa”.
Its historical center extends over an area of 332 hectares and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical heritage and monumental that it houses and its diverse scenic and cultural spaces turn it into a host city of national and international tourism, in its historical center it highlights the religious architecture viceregal and republican product of mixture of Spanish and autochthonous characteristics, that constituted an own stylistic school called “Arequipeña School” whose influence arrived in Potosí (Bolivia).