Photo of the Week: The Church of Tisco, Arequipa, Peru

  • Alberto Gonzales (Photo) Mariel Gonzalez (Text)
  • 20 March 2011


This photo was taken in the town of Tisco, which is just located about 200 kilometres north of Arequipa, Peru. It is one of the highest settlements in the Colca Valley. Its geographical location, in the midst of a large area of puna and grassland, make this area suitable for raising animals such as llamas, alpacas and sheep.

Photo of the Week (20 March 2011) - The Church of Tisco, Arequipa, Peru

The church pictured here was built when members of the order of Dominican monks lived in the area before their expulsion in the 18th century. Made with local materials, following the characteristics of colonial architecture that can be found throughout the Valle del Colca, it is distinguished by its red décor which is made with ochre, a red pigment made from the area’s rich soils.

Beyond the extensive puna and altitude, Tisco is characterised by the presence of the Colca River, which crosses through the town twice. The waters add an extra dimension to the beautiful landscapes in which this church has been set since the earliest days of its construction and will continue to provide a backdrop for many years to come.

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architecture & landmarks, holy sites, local knowledge, personal experience, Peru, photo of the week, South America, whl.travel,

6 Responses to “Photo of the Week: The Church of Tisco, Arequipa, Peru”

  1. julio says:

    Maravilloso ejemplo de arquitectura colonial. Pero creo que los expulsados en el siglo XVIII fueron los jesuitas y no los dominícos. Debe corresponder a los jesuitas.

  2. Sam says:

    What a lovely building, nice post.

  3. tripgirl6 says:

    Looks like a scene from a movie and its design is very noticeable. It also looks like an ideal place for the monks or at this time, for anyone who wants a quiet retreat.

  4. A very beautiful frugal building. The Dominicans love red. I once saw two very beautiful churches of them on Malta, whose interiors resembled more those pluche houses of worldly than of devine love. I think the fine decorations in ochre on the outer walls of the Church of Tisco are very impressive. Interesting to read here is a town as well as the image is so rural.

  5. Maureen says:

    What a beautiful place! I hope head back into the Colca Canyon and spend more time exploring one day 🙂

  6. Teamworkz says:

    wow – very cool

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