Peru’s capital can be very surprising with all the many things hidden in Lima city. From diverse tourist attractions like it’s Magic Water Circuit or Cerro San Cristobal to it’s spooky Catacombs. The entrance price is 2.30 Dollars and their open from 9:30am to 5:30pm. San Francisco archaeological complex was build between the years 1537 and 1673 divided in three sections; it’s temple, monastery and the catacombs.
As soon as you start the tour sights of human tibias, femurs and skulls are evidenced. These are mostly the human remains that we see since those are the toughest human body parts that have lasted all these centuries.
These crypts famous because of its similitude with the Roman Catacombs have over 25.000 human remains. Not any person was buried here, only “Frailes” part of brotherhoods and rich families. Distinguished families paid enormous amounts of money to be buried underneath the church that way they believed it would speed their ascension to heaven.
The construction of the Franciscan catacombs was related to the church construction as well. In 1656 an earthquake collapsed part of the infrastructure. A new Church was constructed between 1657-1672. New graves were built on pillars along with two long parallel corridors. Walls and passages where modified to communicate the new enclosures with the ancient tombs; finally defining San Francisco Maze Catacombs.
In the year 1808 the General Cemetery “Priest Matías Maestro” was inaugurated. So in 1821 José de San Martín, banned by decree the use of the catacombs, consequently being closed. Until 1950 the catacombs were opened to the public. The total area of these crypts has not been defined yet; it’s also believed that there may be a communication between the galleries with the Government Palace and other locations. If you are the type of person who likes spine-chilling adrenaline then this place should be in your bucket list!
Dorothy Matamoros is a researcher and blogger with the Karikuy Volunteer Program in Lima, Peru.