THE JESUITS’ CLOISTERS
Symbol of syncretism and mestizo baroque architecture of the Viceroyal Arequipa
Architectural complex consisting of two patios (yards) and their respective arches (Greater and Minor Cloister), built entirely in ignimbrite (volcanic stone that in Arequipa is called by the name of “sillar”, a name that actually designates the type of cut in the shape of a parallelepiped of two sides by two equal sides) and that constitutes a magnificent expression of the baroque-mestizo architecture that characterizes the Viceroyal Arequipa. This miscegenation is fundamentally evidenced in the syncretic interaction of Andean elements and elements of European contribution in harmonious conjunction.
In this case, this conjunction reaches one of its highest expressions in the reliefs of the columns of the main cloister, where cultural expressions brought by the Hispanic presence can alternate such as bunches of grapes, images of saints, as well as Andean elements among which They include the venera shell (associated with the cult of water), corncobs, among many others, with a rich iconographic content of a religious nature.
A visit to these cloisters and to the church of the same complex gives us the possibility of having an approach to that universe of symbols and conceptions that represents the Hispanic Andean syncretism, symbol of the cultural identity of Arequipa.