A Jewel of Andean Baroque Architecture
Located in the Marcapata Valley, the church of San Francisco de Asís was built between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It exemplifies Andean Baroque architecture, which emerged from the exchanges between Spanish traditions and local indigenous culture during the colonial period. The rubble stone masonry of the church is finished with an earthen render and capped with a thatched roof. For over 400 years, the church’s roof has been maintained by communities through the traditional ceremony of repaje. Every four years, nine surrounding communities of Marcapata come together for a week of celebration and hard work leading to the replacement of the thatch on the church roof.
The temple has suffered damage due to natural aging and lack of resources. Its roof structure has deteriorated from rainwater infiltration in the absence of appropriate drainage, which has damaged the church's murals. The transmission of the repaje skills from generation to generation is threatened by changing community demographics. The new Inter-Oceanic Highway, Peru and Brazil, passes through Marcapata.
2010 World Monuments Watch
Following the inclusion of San Francisco de Asís de Marcapata on the 2010 Watch, WMF encouraged local and regional stakeholders to join efforts to undertake condition assessments, leading to a conservation plan for the church. As a result, in 2017 WMF Peru, the Regional Cultural Direction of Cusco, the Archdiocese of Cusco, the Parish of Marcapata, and the Parish of Andahuaylillas established a collaboration to complete the necessary studies for the conservation of San Francisco de Asis de Marcapata. Since September 2017, work on these technical documents has continued with the support from the Regional Cultural Direction of Cusco. Finalized in early 2021, these documents will provide the groundwork for the Regional Cultural Direction of Cusco to execute and finance the project. WMF expects work at Marcapata to begin by 2022.
Last updated: March 2021.