Fodor's Expert Review Convento de San Francisco
With its ornate facade and bell towers, ancient library, and catacombs full of human skulls and other bones, the Convento de San Francisco is one of Lima's most impressive sites. The catacombs hold the remains of some 75,000 people, some of whose bones have been arranged in eerie geometric patterns (the dusty narrow tunnels here aren't for the claustrophobic, though). The convent's massive church, the Iglesia de San Francisco, is the best example of Lima baroque architecture. Its handsome carved portal would later influence those on other churches, including the Iglesia de la Merced. The central nave is known for its beautiful ceilings painted in a style called mudéjar (a blend of Moorish and Spanish designs). The 50-minute tour includes the church, the monastery's library packed with antique texts, ample colonial art, and the catacombs.