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Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Explore, Peru, South America

La Mansion del Fundador – Arequipa, Peru

La Mansion del Fundador – Arequipa, Peru

Beautifully old Architecture? Check.    Colourful? Check.    Scenery? Check.

Reliving the Past

The Founder’s Mansion’s history dates back to the beginning of the Spanish occupation when the founder of the city, Don Manuel Garci de Carbajal, was allocated the land on which the building stands today and who gave the order to commence this monumental construction.


Its penultimate owner was the illustrious Spaniard Juan Cristostomo de Goyeneche y Aguerreverre, who converted the building into a country estate and rural palace for ecclesiastical and civil dignities around at that time.

In 1981 a group of six enthusiasts with a passion for the city’s architecture purchased the building that lay in ruin. Over a series of painstaking months they managed to renovate the entire site, equipping it with comfortable and modern facilities.

The Founder

Although his exact birth date remains a topic of debate, it is thought that Manuel Garci de Carbajal was born in 1493 in the Extremadura region of Spain, the land of the conquerors.

He arrived to Peru, like many of the Extremaduran emigrants, in search of fame and fortune, and was sent to the south on the orders of Francisco Pizarro to take charge of one of the Spanish delegations, with the objective of founding new cities and strengthening the authority of the Spanish crown.

Garci de Carbajal’s delegation arrived at the valley of Arequipa in 1540 and, under the authority of the lieutenant governor, went on to found the new metropolis on the 15th August that same year.

Feel the Spirit of the Viceroy

The Founder’s Mansion is one of the most outstanding examples of sixteenth century Arequipan civil architecture, built almost entirely of ashlar stone, with thick walls and containing numerous vaults.

An air of viceregal elegance can still be felt in the colonial-styled rooms, extolled by the antique furniture and artwork belonging to the various families who have played a part in the rich history of this mansion and that has been preserved to this day.

These days the beautiful mansion acts as host to highly prestigious business and social events and is recognized as one of the city’s most outstanding attractions by the thousands of tourists who visit Arequipa.