14 October 2012
The prettiest cloister of Peru
Finely chiseled columns and arcades on two levels, sculptured ceilings of different colours alternating between wood and stone, numerous paintings scattered all along the walls and retracing the life of 12th-century French saint Pierre Nolasco (one of the founders of the order of la Merced), a small but refreshing garden in its center, the cloister of the convent of la Merced (our Lady of Mercy) in Cusco also holds an impressive 22-kilogram golden pyx (a religious container) encrusted with 1,500 diamonds and 600 pearls. These are certainly a number of reasons for the cloister to be considered among the prettiest in Peru, even though it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1650, before being rebuilt four years later.
For the lovers of English language, "cloister" comes from 13th-century Middle English "cloistre", itself a combination of Old French (the "s" has dropped today) and Latin ("claustrum" which means an enclosed place).
For photography lovers, the picture showing the arcades on two levels is an attempt at HDR, combining and cropping two or three pictures to capture more details (in particular the paintings on the walls). I've also applied a slight "painting" effect to it. All other photos are not processed.