Lampa Province of Peru
The Province of Lampa was founded by the Aymaras prior to the Incas, and there are archeological vestiges with rock-art throughout the province like the Cave of the Bull and the Coyllata Cave. Due to its remote location beyond the shores of Lake Titicaca and busy streets of Puno, the village of Lampa has managed to maintain a quiet grace and colonial charm, characterized by clean, open streets and 17th century casonas tinted ochre, maroon, and salmon (hence its nickname La Ciudad Rosada.)
Iglesia Santiago Apóstol is the massive colonial church gracing Lampa's main square. Construction on the Latin-cross shaped church began in 1675 using a combination of lime mortar with river stones. In the 1950s Enrigue Torres Belón, a mining engineer began restoration of the church. Belón even made the trip to the Vatican to obtain a rare copy of Michelangelo’s Pietá. The interior of the church is adorned with huge colonial paintings, and an exquisite pulpit whose awe-inspiring grace echoes the one in San Blás in Cusco.
In another section of the church is the Torres Belón mausoleum, in which the remains of Torres Belón are located. This eerie crypt is decorated with the bones of hundreds of priests, hacienda owners, and Spanish miners, which were removed from their original resting place beneath the church when Belón ordered the church’s catacombs to be cemented shut. A number of ancient Inca tunnels left over from an earlier temple wind their way beneath the church.