All about the Moral house in Arequipa
The Casa Moral museum is one of the most famous haciendas - museums in the city of Arequipa. It was the home of the famous conqueror Diego Peralta Cabeza de Vaca. Its name is due to the existence of a blackberry tree inside. It was built at the end of the 18th century using neo-classical features. The presence of ashlar (volcanic material used in many Arequipa buildings), its gardens, canvases from the Cusco school and other treasures of great historical value stand out. It is worth highlighting the existence of more than 2,000 copies of maps of America from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is one of the most famous houses in the so-called 'White City'.
house of Moral is located on Calle del Moral 319, at the intersection of Calle Bolívar and Moral (historic center of the city of Arequipa).
How to get?
Starting from the Main Square in Arequipa, you can reach the house of Moral by a walk of only 5 minutes (500 meters away). You just have to take 'San Agustín' street and turn onto Bolívar street. The museum is located at the intersection with Moral Street.
The Moral house is called in different ways by the researchers and inhabitants of the 'White City'. It is recognized as the 'oldest museum house in Arequipa'. It is also known as 'Landmark in the history of Arequipa' by the Argentine architect Ramón Gutiérrez. In addition to being a cultural center of great importance and value, it is one of the symbols of this city in southern Peru.
The Moral house was built at the end of the 18th century on a site located in the historic center of the city. In its early years it functioned as the home of the conqueror Diego Peralta Cabeza de Vaca (one of the founders of Arequipa). Later, it was ordered to rebuild by Don Manuel Santos de San Pedro and his wife, Rosa Bustamante y Benavides. It was completed between 1735 and 1740. Previously it was also the home (which was not preserved) of Mrs. Rosa Bustamante y Benavides and her first husband.
In the following two centuries, the mansion became part of the families of Dona Rosa Bustamante and the Pacheco Alatrista family. From the second half of the 20th century, the house passed into the hands of the married couple of Arthur and Bárbara Williams who reinforced its architecture and decorated its interior with colonial pieces of great historical value. In 1944, the Banco del Sur acquired the property and turned it into a museum. Today, it is one of the most famous landmarks in the city.
Architecture and interior
The architecture of the house of Moral has neoclassical characteristics with marked local influence. Its structure is made of ashlar, a volcanic stone that proliferates in the region. Its façade with figures in relief of angels, a puma, a bird and two crossed keys stands out; which form a shield.
The interior of the museum stands out for the exhibition of colonial and republican objects from the 18th century. Its high ashlar vaults stand out, as well as carvings of scenes from Christianity on doors, windows and anagrams. His collection of canvases from the 'Cusco school of painting' also stands out.
One of its main treasures is its library of 3,000 volumes of Hispanic literature as well as a collection of maps made by famous cartographers from the 16th and 18th centuries. Due to its location in the historic center of Arequipa, it belongs to the area declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Price and opening hours
The house of Moral museum opens its doors to the public from Monday to Saturday from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The entrance ticket has a cost of 5 Peruvian soles for foreign tourists and 3.50 Peruvian soles for national tourists.
A part of the mansion (which was used as a stable and orchard) currently functions as the Arequipa fire company.
As was characteristic of the eighteenth-century mansions in Arequipa, the house of Moral has large patios adorned with stone pavers of peculiar beauty.
The objects exhibited in the museum such as furniture, canvases, carvings and others; they cannot be touched by tourists. Photographs inside are allowed. Remember that these are historical objects of important cultural value.
The city of Arequipa is famous for its many large museums from the colonial era. In addition to the Moral house, you can also visit other attractions such as: the founder's mansion, the Goyeneche palace, the Sabandía mill, among others.
The city of Arequipa also offers other types of tourist activities such as walks, visits to archaeological sites, museums and more. The best tourist attractions in this region are: the Colca canyon, the Santa Catalina monastery, the Chachani volcano, the Misti volcano, the Andean Sanctuaries museum, among others.