The Goyeneche Palace is one of the most beautiful colonial houses that were built in the city of Arequipa during the 18th century. It is located a few meters from the city center. The house belonged to the family of Juan de Goyeneche y Aguerrevere, bishop of the city. The exterior has neoclassical architecture with French influence. Inside it presents works of art and furniture brought from Europe. The place is one of the most famous historical tourist attractions in the city.
The Goyeneche Palace is a colonial palace built in the 18th century, after the earthquake of 1792. It is one of the historical monuments of the city of Arequipa. It is built with the famous ashlar, a stone of volcanic origin widely used in the ‘White City’.
Throughout its history the mansion passed through several owners. One of the most famous was Bishop Juan de Goyeneche, who decorated the premises with works of art and furniture brought from Europe. Both the exterior and interior of the venue offer a journey through time.
Currently there are 4 rooms where they are exhibited: a) exhibition room of pre-Inca and Inca cultures, b) numismatic exhibition room, c) the art gallery room (destined for viceregal art) and the Goyeneche room (destined for the history of the famous bishop of Arequipa.
The Goyeneche palace is located at the intersection of La Merced and Palacio Viejo avenues, just 270 meters from the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa.
The best way to get to the Goyeneche palace is to walk from the Plaza de Armas. To do this, you must take La Merced Street until you reach the intersection with Palacio Viejo Avenue (approximately 5-minute walk).
The history of this mansion begins with the earthquake of 1782, which destroyed the so-called ‘Old Palace’ (built in 1558 by Bernardino de Ávila and Gaspar Báez). The site was acquired by Juan de Goyeneche y Aguerrevere, bishop of the city of Arequipa who commissioned the construction in 1837 to Lucas Poblete, who years before had rebuilt the Cathedral of Arequipa.
In 1840 the construction of the palace was completed. Juan de Goyeneche and his family lived there for almost 20 years until he moved to Lima in 1858 when he was named archbishop. During that time, the palace was filled with furniture and works of art brought from Europe and other parts of the world. During the 20th century, after passing through various owners, the palace was acquired by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru. Today, it is one of the most important historical tourist attractions of the ‘White City’.
Currently, El Palacio de Goyeneche belongs to the Quimera Real Estate Group who rents the gardens and rooms for weddings. The rental for a full day is around 5,000 soles. The place has a romantic and relaxing air where you can see a pool made of ashlar and a cart from the time that they decorate for events. It should be noted that El Palacio de Goyeneche was for sale, but Grupo Inmobiliario Quimera has decided on other plans for the property, such as the opening of a new Capriccio brand cafeteria.
The front of the palace is a carved wooden balcony that is kept in perfect condition, where the bishop came on weekends to rest and retire from the city. At the entrance to the palace through the main door there are two floors with large gardens on the first floor. It has a privileged view of the Misti volcano. When you go up to the second floor you can see the large windows that are the doors that lead to the main living room. Very well preserved, you can still see carved wooden walls and other furniture. There are various sculptures dating from the 17th century. There are, for example, carved wooden sculptures, polychrome and with glass eyes. In addition, it had furniture, mortars, chandeliers and other goods that currently decorate La Casa de Goyeneche in the center of the city of Arequipa.
The offices of the Reserve Bank of Peru currently operate, which houses the numismatic museum that can be visited, after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Goyeneche family lived in the house in the city of Arequipa, but it must be clarified that they are two different properties, La Casa Goyeneche in the city and El Palacio de Goyeneche in Sachaca. Both in the province of Arequipa.
The building has neoclassical architecture with a marked French influence. The mansion is divided into two floors. Its porches, large patios and a façade adorned with false Doric pilasters, a set of balconies, and a spiral staircase made of ashlar (which allows entry to the second floor) stand out. The main patio has a huge black stone pool as well as colonial windows of great beauty. The interior rooms are crowned by vaults.
Inside the Goyeneche palace, some canvases from the so-called ‘Cusco School of Painting’ from the 17th century stand out. Also noteworthy are two paintings by Goya, fine furniture, a collection of portraits of the Goyeneche family, wood carvings and an important library with archives from the time of Emancipation (14th century).
The visit to the Goyeneche palace is free for the public.
Monday to Friday from 9.15 in the morning until 4.45 in the afternoon.
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