Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

#7 in Best Things To Do in Lima
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco picture
Artie Photography (Artie Ng)/Getty Images

Key Info

Jirón Lampa, Distrito de Lima 15001

Details

Churches/Religious Sites Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Inaugurated in 1672, this baroque-style church named in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi is best known for the network of catacombs located underneath the chapel. The catacombs contain an estimated 70,000 remains dating back to the 17th century. The church and convent are also home to a library with approximately 25,000 antique texts dating back to the 15th century.

Thanks to the intricate web of catacombs, this is one of the most-visited tourist sites in the city. But even with the crowds, recent travelers said exploring the underground graves is worth the wait. Tours of the church and catacombs last about 40 minutes and are offered in English. If you aren't interested in a tour, reviewers point out that the functioning church is free to enter, so you can take a peek at the magnificent architecture inside the church nave without having to fork over an admission fee.

The church is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.; admission for tours costs 10 sol (about $3) and 1 sol (about $0.31) for children. The Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco is located two blocks northeast of Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) near the Desamparados rail station. 

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#1 Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

Known as the birthplace of Lima, the Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor) functioned as the heart of the Spanish colony dating back to 1535. Travelers say it's a must-see for every first-time visitor to Lima.

Located in the historic center of Lima, this main square is full of photo ops. Although none of the original structures stand, the current architecture is still photo-worthy. You won't be able to miss the bright yellow Municipal Palace, as well as the bronze fountain that dates back to the early 1650s.

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