The Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima is a nondescript, dark tourism destination in Peru. Translated, it is Saint Francis Church and Monastery, an average looking destination but the history and secrets will leave even the most seasoned travelers saying “whoa, what the hell?”
Located a short walk from the Plaza Mayor de Lima, the Spanish-style church from the 1700s is easy to miss – There are no massive crowds or queues, just a regular church on the outskirts of the city center. Visitors enter the plaza through an enormous iron gate and pay a minimal fee to tour the facility.
Oddly, they have signs all over which prohibit photography – but that’s never stopped me before and probably won’t in the future. The tour takes you through the church, library, and temple – all stunning examples of Spanish architecture from the 16th and 17th centuries.
NOTE: I am not religious and won’t write about the significance or insignificance of one church over another. I like to explore history.