Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima
The crypts of San Francisco, which have gained fame with the name of catacombs for similarity to the Roman ones
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Directions to Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima
The crypts of San Francisco, which have gained fame with the name of catacombs for similarity to the Roman ones, are a series of underground vaults (under the chapels of the church), these were used until the early nineteenth century, and served as a burial to members of brotherhoods and brotherhoods.
In its extensive route you can see vaulted ceilings or planes joined by passages and semicircular arches, built with brick and lime and ridge, on the floor of them there are rectangular graves where the coffins were placed one above the other, separated by earth and lime alive, to accelerate the decomposition process, avoid epidemics and bad smells.
Inside the Convent
Throughout the tour of the catacombs, the sight of skulls, femurs, tibiae and fibulae is repeated a lot, so they are the most resistant parts of the human body. There are also wells or ossuaries that have the purpose of absorbing seismic waves and whose depth is ten meters.
The construction of the Franciscan catacombs develops according to the transformation of the church. Thus, before the sinking of February 4, 1656, the sepulchral vaults were independent and isolated from each other as in the other Lima churches, were under the side aisles, closed and owned by patrons and brotherhoods. With the construction of the new church between 1657-1672, the foundations of the pillars were opened, the entire central sector of the cruise and the central nave were excavated. There the new graves were built in enclosures on the pillars, and two long parallel corridors under the central nave, likewise, communicated these spaces with the old sepulchral vaults independent of the chapels by breaking the walls and passages. In this way, the unified labyrinth of the San Francisco catacombs was completely filled.
The year 1808 was inaugurated the General Cemetery 'Presbítero Matías Maestro', but burials were still done by custom in the churches, so in 1821 Mr. José de San Martín banned the use of the catacombs by decree , being subsequently closed.
In 1947 its galleries and passages that were boarded up were opened, to carry out excavation, cleaning and light installations, three years later in 1950 the catacombs were open to the public. The total area of these crypts has not yet been determined and it is believed possible that there is a communication between its galleries with the Government Palace and the nearby Desamparados station.
In the crypt called Los Venerables, rest the remains of Fray Juan Gómez, was born in Extremadura, Spain in 1560, arrived in Lima in 1587, was a nurse in the Convent for 40 years and died at the age of 71 on May 2 of 1631, whom Ricardo Palma immortalized in his famous Peruvian Traditions with the version of “Alacrán de Fray Gómez”, was a nurse from San Francisco Solano during his long illness; Fray Ramón y Tagle y Bracho, one of the children of the Marquises of Torre Tagle, is also buried. He died at the age of 70, on August 2, 1780 and Fray Andrés Corso, one of the founders of the Convent of the Barefoot in the Rímac, who died on June 10, 1620.
Father Fray José Francisco de Guadalupe Mojica OFM, who was born in San Gabriel de Jalisco, Mexico, on September 14, 1896, famous opera singer and Hollywood movie artist, who leaves artistic life, is also buried there. and enters the Franciscan Order at the age of 46, on March 8, 1942, died in Lima on September 20, 1974.