Santa Teresa Church And Monastery

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This carmelite monastery of Santa Clara appeared thanks to the donation of Antonio de Zea in 1661. He donated one of the houses of the conqueror of Cusco: Diego de Silva y Guzman. The construction of the church was just started in 1673 during the government of the Bishop Mollinedo and was finished three years later.

Its characteristics

After looking at its simple classic facade over the plain stonewalls protected by two identical belfries of one wall, the visitor gets surprised while discovering the luxurious baroque of its interior. Its unique nave does not have cross and is all made of a stone a little rough contrasting the refined vaults made of brick and the conic cupola.

The high altar

In the high altar of Santa Teresa Church, we find the triumph of the Salomonic column as well as in two wonderful lateral retablos of only one body. They are probably work of Diego Martinez de Oviedo who ordered the main retablo in 1674. Making this work even more beautiful, we find the façade, the tabernacle and the silver small steps that were worked by an anonymous master of Cusco in the second half of the XVIII century.

The pulpit of Santa Teresa Church

It has the same style of the retablos and Martinez de Oviedo also probably worked it too. Its see structured by Salomonic columns and the pinnacles crowing the top of the pulpit were important elements of influence in the development of this style in the area.

The canvases of the cloister

As it happens in other churches from the time of Mollinedo, the main decoration of the sidewalls is based on the big baroque canvases richly carved and completely made in gold. For instance, the canvas about the history of Santa Teresa de Avila finished in 1682 by Jose Espinoza de los Monteros, son and pupil of the famous Juan Espinosa de los Monteros.

The choirs

Apart from the low choir of the nuns, situated in both sides of the Presbytery, there is a high choir in the feet wall outstanding by its exuberant woodwork. Important details are the head of the lions that seem to be holding the entire choir grate.

The exterior

Although it is still a cloister of reclusion, it is possible to admire the adjoining porter’s lodge and the big walls that we can see from the street Saphi with the closed arches that may have belonged to the house of the conqueror Diego de Silva. On the corner, a beautiful joint window reminds us how old this farm is. It could possibly be from the middle of the XVI century.