In the middle of the historic center, surrounded by other colonial churches, is the church of San Pedro. It is also one of the religious buildings built by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century shortly after the founding of Lima. With its facade of homogeneous design, the Peterskirche is a good example of the neoclassical style.
The church and the adjacent monastery are administered by the order of the Jesuits. The existing building is the third in this place and was inaugurated in 1638. The story is typical of Lima: after the first construction was completed, since space was not enough for the large community, a second church was quickly built. Both were very simple adobe buildings, which were also affected by earthquakes.
With the growing wealth of the order of the Jesuits came the desire for a more magnificent and lasting construction. In other aspects, however, the church is completely atypical: while many buildings from the colonial era show a mixture of different architectural styles that have been renewed over the centuries after earthquakes and fires, the San Pedro Church it has a purely neoclassical aspect. They are also emphasized at night by the illumination of the facade. Another special feature of the church are the three entrance doors, a feature that is reserved for the Cathedral of Lima in the Plaza Mayor. For this reason, the two additional doors must remain closed and can only be opened for important religious events.
Artworks and relics in San Pedro
The interior of the church shines under the glow of the great main altar, which the visitor sees as soon as he has crossed the portal. The abundance of gold leaf, which stands out particularly for the lighting, is impressive. The corridors also house altars. In the playful pillars that support the patterns of vaulted coffered ceilings, there are other works of art and paintings with carved wooden frames, their bases decorated with tiles.
In contrast to the neoclassical facade, the interior of the church was redecorated several times over the centuries, which led to the fact that you can also find elements of Baroque design. In addition, the San Pedro Church in Lima can boast of having some important relics, including the remains of the Cross of Calvary, a thorn from the crown of Jesus, or a tibia from the Apostle Paul. In addition to art enthusiasts, for whom San Pedro is an absolute obligation, it also attracts many believers. In one of the two towers, the oldest of the limes, called “Abuelita”, hangs in German “Abuela”. The list of attractions to visit in Lima should not miss the church.