You can't miss the imposing twin bell towers of this 1612 cathedral, with a facade guarding the entire eastern flank of the Plaza de Armas. As the sun sets the imperial reflection gives the cathedral an amber hue. The interior has high-vaulted ceilings above a beautiful Belgian organ. The ornate wooden pulpit, carved by French artist Rigot in 1879, was transported here in the early 1900s. In the back, look for the Virgin of the Sighs statue in her white wedding dress, and the figure of Beata Ana de Los Angeles, a nun from the Santa Catalina monastery who was beatified by Pope John Paul II when he stayed in Arequipa in 1990. A fire in 1844 destroyed much of the cathedral, as did an 1868 earthquake, so parts have a neoclassical look. In 2001 another earthquake damaged one of the bell towers, which was repaired to match its sister tower.
Plaza de Armas, between Santa Catalina and San Francisco, Arequipa, Peru