Templo Santa Cruz de Jerusalén de Juli (Church of Santa Cruz of Jerusalem)
The city of Juli rests along the shores of the majestic Lake Titicaca in the Puno province of Peru. Juli was once the cultural and religious center for the Jesuit community in Peru, between the 16th and 18th centuries, where missionaries were trained to establish communities of worship elsewhere in South America, such as the Chiquitos. Juli benefitted from support from the Spanish Crown during the colonial era resulting in privileged treatment and investment in its churches, including Santa Cruz de Jerusalén. Ornate carvings on the walls and columns of the 16th-century granite church allude to the baroque architecture and artistic grandeur of Rome but also demonstrate the influence of indigenous design, materials, and traditions. The church is an important reminder of the complex history of the region, despite its current dilapidated condition.
The walls of the church are unstable and cracked from exposure to the elements, the roof is partially lost, the interior is in ruins and invaded with vegetation, and the tower is in imminent danger of collapse. The communities of Juli and surroundings areas want to preserve the church and cultural heritage of the town, in order to stimulate the economy and strengthen its position as a tourist attraction.
Since the Watch
After many years of disrepair, the church tower collapsed on January 2013. In February, the Ministry of Culture declared a state of emergency for the church. February 2013