To establish European thinking and religious beliefs with the indigenous Indian population three hundred years ago, the Spanish built a modest mud-brick and wooden church on the site of an old Incan temple in a small village about forty kilometres south of Cusco. Arriving late in the afternoon in dull light, the church certainly didn’t inspire any wonder, and I wished I’d stayed on the bus to Cusco. However the temptation was too great with descriptions likening this colonial church to the Sistine Chapel.

To open the doors is to unveil a dazzling array of wall paintings and frescoes contrasted by a richly glowing gilded altarpiece carved from wood. The artwork, rich in red and gold paint, tell powerful religious stories. One graphic painting highlights the punishments for going to hell and the rewards for getting to heaven. The ceiling is decorated in floral patterns and glitters with gold leaf.

andahuaylillas frescoNear the entrance is a baptismal prayer written in five languages including three local Indian languages revealing the Spaniards attempts to convert the population to Catholicism.

While lofty monikers like “the Sistine Chapel of the Americas” are a gross exaggeration, the modest travel wonder of Andahuaylillas is on the road between Lake Titicaca and Cusco and worth a brief stop.

Other Peru Posts
Pathways to the Gods (Nazca Lines)
Raiders of the Lost Tombs (Chauchilla Tombs)
Exploring the Incan Wonderland (Machu Picchu)
Trekking to the Lost City (Inca Trail)
Potatoes with your Guinea Pig, Sir?
Flight of the Condor (Colca Canyon)
Living in Reeds (Lake Titicaca)
Top Ten Travel Wonders of South America

Photo Credit: Fresco image kindly supplied by Ken at randomtruth

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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