Andean Baroque

Church of la Compañía, Arequipa
Church of Our Lady of Mercy. Baroque Architecture of Cajamarca
Cathedral of Juli

Andean Baroque (Spanish: Barroco andino or arquitectura mestiza) is an artistic movement that appeared in the Viceroyalty of Peru (South America) between 1680 and 1780.[1] It is located geographically between Arequipa and Lake Titicaca in what is now Peru and Bolivia, where rules over the highlands and spreads over the entire altiplano. From the Portuguese word barrueco meaning impure, mottled, flamboyant, daring, the most striking example of Andean Baroque art is in religious architecture, where indigenous craftsmen gave it a unique character, as happened in the New Spanish Baroque.


The first of the baroque architecture in the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1630 and developed on the Spanish model until the late 17th century. From 1690 differences appear in some regions.

Decorative elements

The originality of this style lies in the decoration, varied, and whose motives respond to four basic types:

The mermaid appears in the churches bordering the Lake Titicaca and although it is an item from the classical antiquity, remember the Indian tradition of two fishes women who seduced the god Tunupa.

Regional variants


San Juan Bautista Church in Yanahuara District.

In Arequipa the key building of mestizo architecture is the church of la Compañía by the architect Gaspar Báez built in 1578.

Quito baroque

Main article: Quito School


The extension of the Quito Baroque cover the territories of the former Royal Audiencia of Quito in Spanish colonial times. Especially the Altiplano of Quito and the Andes from Pasto in Colombia to Cajamarca in Peru. Represented in the arts called "Quito School" which was characterized by a high proportion of indigenous quichwas representations.

Interior of the Church of la Compañía, Quito.

Features that characterize the indigenous roots in Andean Quito art are:

Baroque architecture in Quito stands the Church of San Francisco, the compañía de Jesús, the Cathedral of Quito, among others.

Churches of the Colca Valley

In the province of Cailloma is the valley of Collaguas evangelized by the Franciscans, highlights several Catholic churches located in the towns of Yanque (Church of the Immaculate Conception of Yanque) Coporaque, Cabanaconde, Chivay, Madrigal and Silvayo.

Lake Titicaca and El Collao

The indigenous groups that inhabit the region are the Kollas and Lupacas in present Peruvian territory and Omasuyos and pacajes on Bolivian. All were subject to the Mita de Potosí and periodically migrated to the valleys and coastal lowlands.

The Baroque of Arequipa and Potosí is a conjunction in this region with a strong Pre-Columbian flavor. The Puno Cathedral picks iconographic elements as mermaids, pumas, papayas and a monkey and even the charango. Lake Titicaca was named in honor of the puma, Titi, in Aymara, because of its shape.

In the region of lupacas rise the three groups of baroque churches: Juli, Pomata and Zepita.

Juli has been the great Jesuit missionary center of the altiplano, had four churches: San Juan de Letrán, Santa Cruz de Jerusalén, Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and San Pedro Mártir.

The Dominicans possessed the Pomata Sanctuary where they venerate Our Lady of the Rosary, the most famous of this region after the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana who was in charge of the Augustinians. The church of St. James of Pomata marks the culmination of the mestizo style.


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Baroque architecture in Peru and Baroque architecture in Bolivia.


  1. Phipps, Elena; Hecht, Johanna; Martín, Cristina Esteras (2004). The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530-1830. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-58839-131-5.

Further reading

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