Andahuaylillas jewel is the church of St. Peter the Apostle. Conceived by the Jesuits was built at the very beginning of the seventeenth century. Its harmonious construction and extraordinary inner combine to make it one of the most beautiful churches in the region.
The temple rests on a solid plinth of limestone blocks taken from the Inca Palace, once located in the same place. Built of adobe, its simple but admirable and proportionate facade, look through the main square, to the fertile valley of the Vilcanota.
Outside the church, in the adjacent bell three stone crosses are located whose staggered podiums, as they say, represent the old Chakana or Andean cross, although in its three-dimensional shape, could also be three apus, or mountain gods sacred.
Known as the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas", the church is famous for its wonderful murals and colonial paintings by Luis de Riaño, Diego Quispe Tito and Tadeo Escalante, as well as other anonymous artists. It is believed that possibly have jobs Murillo, the great Spanish painter.
Before entering the chapel should be noted that the murals are on the front door. Highlight the blue and red brightly painted and rustic beauty that decorate the outside balcony flowers, once used to direct the preaching of the congregations gathered outside the temple.
But it is only when entering the church that his extraordinary rustic-Mannerist splendor is revealed. A ceiling Moorish style multiple colors, look down from a rectangular nave of sumptuous beauty, with its more intimate side chapels and a triumphal arch that divides the presbytery.
Its walls are covered with a series of colonial paintings of various religious themes, whose frames, sheets of intricately worked gold, seem to flow toward the main altar, covered, in turn, gold twenty-four karat mines Marcapata with which forms a perfect harmony.
Of course, the original purpose of the church of Andahuaylillas -as well as other beautiful temples that adorn the peoples of the surroundings- was to evangelize the indigenous population that the Spaniards found in this warm valley, which later under the rule of viceroy Francisco Toledo, they gathered in communities known as reductions. It is for this reason that the murals covering the ship containing such images.
Two murals on each side of the main portal describe the paths to heaven and hell. The road to hell is very tour and shown large and simple, dotted with flowers, sin and temptation, while the sky, taken by very few, is narrow, complicated and easy to lose.
Throughout the church, from murals to plinths on which lie the three crosses, its designers showed an extraordinary evangelical astuteness in a subtle mix of indigenous and Catholic motifs. The same altar exhibits, among its crowded images, a blazing sun, crucial to Inca iconography, accompanied by a representation of the Lamb of God, symbol of Christianity.
The Church used images because the overwhelming majority of the members of his new flock, was unable to read. This fact makes the entry into the baptistery is even more remarkable. Painted by Luis de Riaño, the grandmaster of the seventeenth century, whose work can be appreciated throughout the church, the words of the baptism appear in no less than five languages: Latin, Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and the now extinct pukina.
Who he commissioned the decoration of the church Luis de Riaño was the Spanish priest Juan Perez de Bocanegra, remarkable character who also distinguished musician, was a longtime professor of Quechua. His image can be seen in the pulpit, kneeling before San Pedro for all eternity, in this church that owes its existence to both its evangelical zeal as his artistic eye.