The mansion of the founder of Arequipa

The founder’s mansion, as its name suggests, belonged to the founder of the city of Arequipa, Lieutenant Governor Garcí Manuel de Carbajal. It was built 20 kilometers from the city center, near the Socabaya River. The mansion has many characteristics of Baroque architecture. Its dining room, bedroom and gardens as well as its canvases, furniture and small chapel are striking. After 3 centuries, the place was deteriorated until in 1981 it was restored to allow the public to enter.


The founder’s mansion was built in the 16th century as the hacienda of the founder of Arequipa, Lieutenant Governor Garcí Manuel de Carbajal. The architecture of the house has baroque characteristics with spaces such as gardens, portals, rooms and more. The interior of the mansion has relics brought from Europe such as furniture, velvet cloths, sculptures, canvases and more.

After many centuries and several owners, the house was restored in 1981 to open its doors to the public. Its most famous enclosures are the chapel area, the hall of armor, the main dining room and the main patio. In each space there are relics that come from the colonial era. Today, it is one of the most important museums in the city of Arequipa.

Where is it?

The founder’s mansion is located about 20 minutes by car from the center of the city of Arequipa. It is located in the town of Huasacache, on the banks of the Socabaya River.

How to get?

To get to the mansion it is advisable to take a taxi from the center of the city of Arequipa. The cost is approximately 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars).



The mansion of the founder of Arequipa was built in the 16th century, shortly after the founding of the city (1540) to be the residence of the lieutenant governor of the city, Don Garcí Manuel de Carbajal. His son occupied the estate until his death. Later, the place was occupied by the Jesuit order for almost 200 years. Then, due to constant earthquakes, the mansion was slowly destroyed until it was completely abandoned in 1960.

In 1978, a group of important figures from the city of Arequipa acquired the mansion in order to restore it and show an image similar to the original colonial mansion. For its reconstruction, ashlar was used, a volcanic stone widely used for the construction of colonial houses. Today, the mansion became a museum through whose corridors the history of its inhabitants can be appreciated. There is a chapel that shows the passage through the Jesuits. It also highlights the dining room and room where the Garcí Manuel de Carbajal family stayed. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Arequipa.


The founder’s mansion has typical 16th-century Arequipa architecture. Much of its walls and structures are made with ashlar. The vaulted ceilings in the Baroque style stand out. Its spaces reflect the characteristics of its guests during more than 4 centuries of history: a chapel, a colonial-style dining room, a garden patio and more.

Objects on display

  • Collection of ceramics from the churajones (ancient pre-Inca culture) that inhabit the space occupied by the mansion.
  • Lienzo de Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, the first lieutenant governor of Arequipa and the founder of the mansion. The mansion, in total, exhibits a collection of 40 paintings.
  • The chapel of the mansion, which was built in the 18th century as part of the reconstructions made by the order of the Society of Jesus. The altarpiece decorated in gold leaf stands out.
  • Furniture brought from Europe made at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.
  • Mural from the late 19th century showing a foreign soldier. This figure was made during the occupation of the mansion by Chilean troops during the ‘War of the Pacific’.
  • Canvases in the halls with representations of biblical scenes.
  • Rooms decorated with flanders, taffeta from Granada and velvet from Toledo.
  • A set of Victorian style armchairs and chairs made in Arequipa.
  • Canvas portrait of José Sebastián de Goyeneche y Barreda who was bishop of Arequipa (1816 – 1860) and inherited the mansion for a few years ..
  • Collection of books from the 18th century.
  • In the bedroom, a bronze four-poster bed made in Mexico stands out.

Entry price

  • Adults: 15 Peruvian soles.
  • Students and seniors (over 65 years old): 5 Peruvian soles.
  • Children under 5 years old: free admission.

Visiting hours

Every day of the year (except December 25 and January 1) from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.


La mansión del fundador - Arequipa
La casa del Moral - Arequipa
La casa del Moral - Arequipa
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More information

Starting in 1785, the mansion passed into the hands of Don Juan Crisóstomo de Goyeneche, bishop of Arequipa, famous for his greed.

Some walls of the mansion are painted indigo blue, earth red and yellow ocher, the typical colors of Arequipa architecture. The color of the walls is renewed annually.

In the areas surrounding the mansion there is a forest made up of more than 150 trees. The oldest is a molle located in an area to the side of the house. It is believed to be as old as the initial construction in the 16th century.

Some advices

During your visit to the museum, respect the indications indicated in the place: do not touch the pieces on display, dispose of the garbage only in the authorized places and be silent.

Take advantage of your stay in the city of Arequipa to visit, in addition to the founder’s mansion, other museums such as: the Andean Sanctuaries museum, the Cathedral museum, the Santa Teresa viceregal art museum, the Arequipa city museum. and more.