The Convent of Santa Catalina opened its doors to the public on August 15, 1970, as one of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Peru and the Americas, putting Arequipa on the international tourism map. Now, after more than 40 years in operation as a museum, we continue to make every effort possible to complete the exhibitions and improve the infrastructure that tell the story of over four hundred years of history.

The convent consists of a series of historic buildings that were not built for the purpose of housing a museum. This makes it difficult to adapt them without altering the monument’s infrastructure. Several years ago, a painstaking architectural restoration plan was put together with the aim of remodeling certain spaces in response to a series of problems that had arisen over time. In May of last year, some of these new spaces were opened, housing temporary exhibitions that make it possible to reach a broader public. These exhibition spaces are situated in two large, vaulted rooms that were once used as the procuration quarters (for visiting religious figures) and had fallen into disuse due to their poor state of conservation; along with a third vaulted room that was formerly the convent’s chapter house. With the restoration of a door giving onto Calle Ugarte that had previously been sealed shut, it is now possible to visit these new spaces either from the Courtyard of Silence, inside the convent, or directly via Calle Ugarte.

The renovation of these rooms has made it possible for us to host temporary exhibitions highlighting contemporary aspects of our culture, as well as others not directly tied to the convent. In order to reach the widest public possible, whether tourists or residents of Arequipa, entry to these spaces is free of charge, making them an excellent place to spend some leisure time.

The exhibitions are open to the public from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.