Goyeneche’s palace in Arequipa
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 a 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.
All about the Goyeneche palace
The Goyeneche Palace is a colonial palace built in the 18th century, after the 1792 earthquake. 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 went through several owners. One of the most famous was Bishop Juan de Goyeneche, who decorated the site with works of art and furniture brought from Europe. Both the exterior and the interior of the enclosure offer a trip back in 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 gallery room (destined to viceregal art) and the Goyeneche room (destined to 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 Arequipa’s Main Square.
How to get?
The best way to get to the Goyeneche palace is to walk from the Main Square. To do this, you must take La Merced street until you reach the intersection with Palacio Viejo avenue (5-minute walk, approximately).
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 from 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 and until he moved to Lima in 1858 when he was appointed 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’.
The building has a neoclassical architecture with a marked French influence. The mansion is divided into two floors. Its porticoes, wide patios and a facade adorned with false Doric pilasters, a set of balconies, a spiral staircase made of ashlar stand out (which allows entry to the second floor). 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 there are some canvases from the so-called ‘Cusco School of Painting’ from the 17th century. There are also two paintings by Goya, fine furniture, a collection of portraits of the Goyeneche family, wood carvings and an important library with files from the Emancipation era (14th century).
Price of the visit
The visit to the Goyeneche palace is free for all the public.
Hours of operation
Monday to Friday from 9.15 in the morning to 4.45 in the afternoon.
The Goyeneche Palace as a museum was inaugurated in 1970. It is considered a historical monument of the city of Arequipa.
The pre-Inca and Inca room stands out for its pieces from ancient Peruvian cultures, such as: Chavín, Virú, Vicús, Mochica, Nazca, Recuay, Chimú and Inca.
In the numismatic room, the Central Reserve Bank of Peru exhibits a historical collection of coins that existed in Peru.
In the city of Arequipa there is a farm that is also called ‘Palacio Goyeneche’, located about 6 kilometers from the center of the city. This hacienda also belongs to the 18th century. It is used mainly as an event room.
During your visit to the Goyeneche Palace, respect the rules such as: do not touch the furniture or works of art inside the museum, avoid making noise during the tour of the exhibition rooms and follow the signs established within the enclosure.
The city of Arequipa is full of imposing colonial palaces such as the Goyeneche palace. You can also visit the ‘Mansion of the founder’ or ‘El molino de Sabandia’. Most of these tourist attractions are included in the ‘City Tour’ or ‘Mira bus tour’ around the city.