Tourist Attraction in Arequipa: Monasterio Santa Catalina de Siena
The Santa Caterina Monastery (Santa Catalina) is a monastery of nuns of the Second Dominican Order, located in Arequipa. It was built in 1579 and expanded in the 17th century. The over 20,000 square meters monastery was built mainly in mudéjar style and features lively colors. There are about 20 sisters currently living in the north corner of the complex; the rest of the monastery is open to the public. The founder of the monastery was a rich widow, Maria de Guzman. The tradition of time indicated that the second son or daughter of a family came into a service life in the Church, and the monastery only accepted women from Spanish upper class families. Every family paid a dowry on the admission of the daughter to the monastery. The dowry that was expected of a woman who wanted to enter as a nun in a choir, wearing a black veil - and thus accepting the duty of the daily recitation of the Divine Office, was 2400 silver coins. Nuns also had to bring 25 listed items, including a statue, a painting, a lamp, and clothes. The wealthiest nuns might have brought beautiful curtains and silk carpets and English porcelain. Though it is possible for the nuns who are poorer to enter the convent without paying a dowry, it can be seen from the cells that most nuns were very rich. In 1871 Sister Josefa Cadena, OP, a strict Dominican Sister, was sent by Pope Pius IX to reform the monastery. He sent rich riches in Europe, and freed all slaves and slaves, giving them the choice to remain or nun or leave. In addition to the extravagant wealth stories, there are stories of nurses who are pregnant, and surprisingly the skeleton of a child who is discovered enclosed in a wall. This, in fact, did not happen in Santa Catalina, and there are voices of the same story in the nearby Santa Rosa Monastery. At its peak, the monastery hosted about 450 people (about a third of them and other servants) in a cloistered community. In the 1960s it was hit twice by earthquakes, seriously damaging the structures and forcing the nuns to build new houses next door. It was then gradually restored by groups including Promociones Turisticas del Sur SA and World Monuments Fund and open to the public. This also contributed to paying for the installation of electricity and running water.