A Day in the Tiled Courtyards of the Santo Domingo

Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Lima was the capital of Peru and the largest and most important city in South America during the Spanish regime. So Lima’s history goes way back and there’s lots to see on a visit.

Known for its courtyards and mosaics, the Santo Domingo church attracts fewer tourists than the skulls and bones of San Francisco or the crypt of Francisco Pizarro in the Cathedral of Lima. I saw these things, but, for me, the wall after wall of courtyard tile mosaics were absolutely stunning. And I found myself returning to the courtyards over several days of staying in Lima’s age-worn central downtown.




Here are two different perspectives of the first courtyard surrounded by the convent building’s two cloisters.



Wide, covered arcade-ways surround the courtyard with benches interspersed throughout. Lima is located on the Pacific coast, on an arid plain between the ocean and the foothills of the Andes Mountains. It’s easy to imagine walking in the deep shadows of the walkways to enjoy some fresh air and appreciate the gardens.