Saint Francis Monastery

The Convento de San Francisco (Saint Francis Monastery) is part of the Historic Centre of Lima, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991. Aside from a church and monastery it also contains a library and catacombs. The church and monastery were consecrated in 1673 and completed in 1774.

The convent's library is world-renowned. It possesses about 25,000 antique texts, some of them predating the conquest. Some notable books are the first Spanish dictionary published by the Royal Spanish Academy and a Holy Bible from 1571- 1572 printed in Antwerp.

Lima's first cemetery was the catacombs below the monastery. The catacombs remained in use until 1808 when a city cemetery outside of Lima was founded. The catacombs were discovered in 1943. It is estimated to contain 70,000 burials. Bones line up along narrow hallways underneath the church, and one area contains several large and deep holes, filled with bones and skulls arranged above each other in circular patterns.

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