Its metropolitan area integrates 21 districts, including the district of Arequipa, founding and historical site and seat of the city’s government. The city has a Nominal GDP of US$9,445 million and nominal GDP Per Capita of US$10,277.
Arequipa is an important industrial and commercial center of Peru and is considered as the second industrial city of the country. Within its industrial activity, it is worth mentioning the manufactured products and the textile production of camelid wool with export quality. The city has close commercial ties with Chile, Bolivia and Brazil and with cities connected by the Southern Railway, as well as by the port of Matarani.
Arequipa is known as “The White City” because it was built almost entirely out of ashlar stone. It is situated 2,325 meters above sea level in the desert mountains of the Andes and is surrounded by three volcanos, Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu. It is without any doubt the second most important city of Peru, and a hub of economic development in southern Peru.
The city of Arequipa is 475 years old, its landscapes and gastronomy are its main attractions.
The volcano Misti is impressive, rising above peaceful countryside with springs, old windmills (in Sabandía), thermal baths (in Yura and Socosani), small villages with Andalusian style alleys (Yanahuara) and, not far away, a hamlet anchored on a stony ridge (Sachaca). The use of ashlar stone (volcanic mineral) in the construction of churches, convents and houses gives the city a unique appearance. Other touristic places are the Lagoons of Mejía National Sanctuary, the caves of Sumbay, the forest of Imata stone and the beaches of Mollendo and Camaná.
The food in Arequipa is famous for its flavor and is more diverse than any other region in Peru, thanks to the extensive crops of its fields and valleys, and its long coastline. One of the unique characteristics of the food is hot pepper (picante) in an infinity of combinations, and this is why the places where the spicy food is served are called picanterías.
We invite you to discover more about Arequipa in these images:
The Santa Teresa y San Jose’s Carmelitas Descalzas’s Monastery, from Arequipa, was founded in 1710, and since then remains in life, hosting a Community of Contemplative Nuns. In its more than 300 years of existence, the Monastery has been treasuring paintings, sculptures, furniture, metalwork, decorative arts, textiles, beautiful murals and objects of daily use from different periods, origins and artistic styles.
In 2005, the Community of nuns decided to open a part of the monastery as Museum of Viceregal Art, exhibiting hundreds of objects of its valuable collection in 13 spaces of the old Cloister of the Offices. The Museum is thematic in most of its Exhibition Halls and is also a living museum, since several of the objects and environments are still used as they were more than 3 centuries ago: at midday some spaces are closed momentarily, so that the nuns can touch the 3 bells of the Angelus prayer and pray-singing-this and other community prayers. The public can not see them, but they can see the ringing of the bells and then they can hear, through the door, the singing of the nuns. A unique experience.
The Museum has an exclusive Room of Interpretation of the Viceregal Art, the one that shows step by step which were the local techniques of Century XVIII to apply the gold bread, to make the mural painting, to make sculptures and to decorate furniture.
Undoubtedly, the Museum offers the richest and best exposed display of artistic objects from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, from Peru.
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