Church of the Nazarenas, Peru

Several blocks east of the Plaza de Armas, Lima’s Church of the Nazarenas has a unique history. This area was once a poor neighborhood of freed black slaves, and in the middle of what was little more than a shanty town, an ex-slave painted a mural of the Crucifixion of Christ on a wall. In 1655, an earthquake leveled most of this area but left the wall standing intact.

This was seen by the locals as a miracle, and Iglesia de Las Nazarenas was built around the wall with the image, which was known as El Señor de los Milagros. An oil replica is now mounted on this wall, which stands behind the altar. Each October 18, the painting is paraded through the streets in the El Señor de los Milagros Festival, accompanied by a procession that numbers in the thousands.

Peru Culture Route 2020 © Simon & Monika Newbound

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