The 16th-century San Pedro (Azángaro and Ucayali, hours vary, free) has a drab mannerist facade but is one of the most spectacular church interiors in Peru. Huge white arching ceilings lead to a magnificent altar covered in gold leaf and designed by Matías Maestro, who is credited for bringing the neoclassic style to Peru.
At the end of the right nave, ask permission to see the mind-blowing sacristy, decorated with tiles and graced with a magnificent painting of the coronation of the Virgin Mary by Peru’s most famous painter, Bernardo Bitti. Painted on the ceiling boards above are scenes of the life from San Ignacio. If you come in the morning, it is possible to ask permission to see the cloisters and two interior chapels as well.
Palacio Torre Tagle (Ucayali 363) is a mansion built in 1735 that is, like Casa de Aliaga , in pristine condition. Visits can be arranged by popping into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs next door at Ucayali 318.
At the Museo del Banco Central (tel. 01/613-2000, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Tues. and Thurs.–Fri., 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Wed., free), the ground floor holds a colonial money exhibit, one flight up is a 19th- and 20th-century painting gallery, and the basement shines with pre-Columbian ceramics and textiles (including a range of intriguing Chanca pieces). The paintings include a good selection of watercolors from Pancho Fierro (1807–1879), paintings from 20th-century artist Enrique Polanco, and etchings by Cajamarca’s indigenous artist José Sabogal (1888–1956).
Tthe church of San Agustín (corner of Ica and Camaná, hours vary, free) has an 18th-century baroque facade that is one of the most intricate in the Americas and looks almost as if it were carved from wood, not stone.
Casa Riva Agüero (Camaná 459, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 2–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., US$7, US$1.75 museum only), an 18th-century home with all original furniture, has an interesting museum of colonial handicrafts as well as ceramics and textiles from the Lima culture.
Other interesting churches, which are clustered together, are La Merced (Unión and Miró Quesada, hours vary, free), which was built in 1754 and holds a baroque retablo carved by San Pedro de Nolasco, and San Marcelo (Rufino Torrico and Emancipación, hours vary, free).
Nearby there is a string of three 17th-century churches within four blocks of each other on the busy Avenida Tacna: Las Nazarenas (6 a.m.–noon and 5–8:30 p.m. daily), which holds the image of El Señor de los Milagros, the city’s patron saint whose October festival draws as many as a half million celebrants; San Sebastián (hours vary, free); and Santa Rosa (9:30 a.m.–noon and 3:30–7 p.m. daily).