The church of La Merced is one of the religious temples of Cusco built during the colonial era. It is famous for its beautiful architecture with stairs, domes and bell towers. However, its greatest attraction is its internal relics, which highlights a custody of 22 kilos and 1.25 meters high, which is made of gold, diamonds, pearls, rubies and emeralds. It is one of the most valuable jewels of Peru. It is located a few steps from the Plaza de Armas of the city.
Attractions of the Church
Inside the cloisters we find a great variety of paintings and fragments of mural paintings of the primitive church of La Merced, which represent the life of Don Pedro de Nolasco, founder of the Mercedarian order, which were painted by the master Ignacio Chacón.
In this church is the famous jewel and relic “La Custodia de la Merced”, made of 24 carat gold and inlaid with 1,518 diamonds, 615 stones (rubies, topazes and emeralds) and a large pearl in the shape of a mermaid, considered the second largest in the world.
How much does the visit cost?
The visit costs 15 Peruvian soles per person (approximately US$5). Admission to the church is free during mass hours (Saturdays and Sundays 7 am. and 7 pm.).
What are the opening hours?
Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Also from 2 pm until 5 pm.
A few tips
During your visit, keep in mind that you cannot take pictures because the enclosure is a sacred place. Neither should you sit on the colonial furniture or touch the relics kept there. It is recommended to remain silent during the tour, which takes approximately 35 minutes.
If you are interested in the colonial religious temples of Cusco, do not miss the opportunity to visit, in addition to the church and convent of La Merced, other temples such as: the church of the Society of Jesus, the church of Santo Domingo, the church and convent of San Francisco and the Cathedral of Cusco.