Historic Centre of the City of Arequipa (2000)

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Peru 2004. Souvenir sheet. General view of the Historic Center of Arequipa with the Misti Volcano in the background.

The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. 

This combination of influences is illustrated by the city's robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades. 

  • Peru 2004. Souvenir sheet. General view of the Historic Center of Arequipa with the Misti Volcano in the background. 

    See also the the close-ups immediately below. Scans by courtesy of Mario Villena (Spain). 

Peru 2004. Close-up of the Historic Center of Arequipa.

Peru 2004. Close-up of the Misti Volcano.

  • Peru 2004. Close-ups of the two stamps from the above souvenir sheet. 
    • Historic Center of Arequipa. 
    • Misti Volcano. 
Peru 1977. Air Post. Arequipa City Arms. Peru 1974. Air Post. Moral House. Peru 1999. Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa.

Arequipa is a city in southern Peru, capital of Arequipa Department, near Mollendo. Located on the Pan-American Highway, the city is the commercial center for southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and western Brazil. Extensive trade in cotton, wheat, rice, and sugar is carried on in the city through railway connections with the seaport town of Mollendo. The chief industry is the grading and packing of alpaca wool. 

Peru 2004. Alpaca. Peru 2004. Vicuna. Peru 2004. Guanaco. Peru 2004. Lama.

Arequipa has a mild, dry climate and is located in a beautiful mountain valley surrounded by several peaks, the highest of which is Volcán Misti (5822 m/19,101 ft), notable for a perfectly shaped snowcapped cone. The city was founded in 1540 by the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro. The old city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake in 1868 and has been completely rebuilt. 

Peru 1932. Arequipa and Vulcan Misti.

Peru 1907. Francisco Pizarro.

Peru 1990. Arequipa. 450th anniversary of foundation.

In its justification for inscription the UNESCO states that the ornamented architecture in the historic centre of Arequipa represents a masterpiece of the creative integration of European and native characteristics, crucial for the cultural expression of the entire region. The historic centre of Arequipa is an outstanding example of a colonial settlement, challenged by the natural conditions, the indigenous influences, the process of conquest and evangelization, as well as the spectacular nature of its setting. 

Sources and links:

Other World Cultural Heritage Properties in Peru (on this web site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Peru-section. for more information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 13 jul 2007  
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