The Plaza de Armas (Square of Weapons)
Historically, The Plaza de Armas of Cajamarca is the most important Square in South America. There, the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro captured the Inca Atahualpa after a slaughter that, up to now, startles the humanity. Now, the Plaza de Armas still conserves, the square form of all the cities founded by the Spaniards, but before the conquest, it had the triangular shape. In the centre, a beautiful octagonal fountain, worked in stone, is located now and nothing reminds the bloody past. The gardens of Cajamarca irradiate peace, tranquility and the same environmental balance of its countryside.
The Cathedral Church
Also called, Santa Catalina is located in La Plaza de Armas. It was built, at the end of the XVII Century and beginning of the XVIII Century, totally with hand cut stone. Its facade, with two truncated towers, it is a fine and well-achieved sample of the Baroque art adorned by beautiful salomonic columns and medieval arabesque niches. The interior is made into three naves, the imposing big Altar, which is cast integrally of brass and recovered entirely with gold leaf. To a side is the Chapel of the " Sacrarium", sculpted in stone, dedicated to the smallest religious celebrations. This Cathedral is characterized by its two truncate towers whose construction, from beginning, was never concluded to avoid a tax to the Spanish Crown.
San Francisco Church
This singular architectural work entirely of hand cut stone, it is part of the complex formed by San Francisco's Convent. The construction began in the XVIII Century and, for the same reasons that those of the Cathedral, it has one truncated tower and the other one half finish. The two towers that it shows now were built at the beginnings of a second half of XX Century. San Francisco's Church is more sober in decorations and ornaments, without being majestic and imposing. It has three naves, with a stain glass decorated dome and walls of a great sobriety, in which diverse niches are embedded, as well as, chapels and altars, carved in wood or modeled in brass. In the interior are found highlighted the Sanctuary dedicated to la Virgen de los Dolores, patron saint of Cajamarca, the scenes of last supper and washing of feet, carved in solid rock, the Pinacoteca, the Museum of Religious Art and already famous "Catacombs".
It is the splendid natural viewpoint from where it can be seen and appreciated, in all magnificence, the city and the beautiful valley of Cajamarca. At the half hill is the Chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Fátima. Now it is a wide park, with roads to travel on foot, beautiful gardens and samples of the native flora. In the summit, from where the Spanish pointed their cannons on the square, it can still be appreciated, some pre-Incas (Chavín) remains such as well-known "The Seats of the Inca" and an entrance of tunnel that, according to the popular tradition, "goes until the Cuzco."
The Church the Recoleta
It is located at the intersection of the Avenue Los Heroes with the Avenue El Maestro, in the populous neighbourhood of San Sebastián. It was built in the XVIII century, it shows a sober facade carved in stone and highlighted by slender triple arches, as well as an enormous Franciscan convent, with wide interior arcades. One part is used today for the School San Ramón and the other part for the Garden of Children Santa Teresita and the old School of Women Belén. It is said that, during the Chilean invasion of the city, when the soldiers tried to enter into this church to plunder it, it happened an earthquake that make them escape, leaving the religious relics that existent up to now.
The Monument of Nativity
Located in the 6 block of the Jirón Belén, in front of the little square of the same name, its construction dates back to XVIII century and it constitutes a colonial historical monument of singular importance of its component: the church of the same name, the most genuine example of the Spanish-American baroque art. The whole complex occupies almost half block of the city and it has, besides three big patios, diverse environments. On the side of the church, for example, the medical museum, a building that was the hospital of men and the administrative offices and the completely restored Departmental Files without changing the old structure and original configuration. To the other side of the street Junin, a building that, in another time, was the hospital of women, today transformed into an archaeological-ethnologic museum and the cemetery that, also some time ego, was used as the morgue of the city.
The Church of Nativity
Located between the streets Belén and Junín, its construction, the same as the other components of the Monument of Nativity of which it is part, were carried out with the help of cut stone carved by hand, during XVIII Century. It consists of a single nave; it is the most representative church of the colonial baroque art and the most beautiful architectural sample in the city. Its facade lacks towers, but is adorned with the columns, niches and arabesques of a singular beauty and complexity characteristic of the time when it was build, and of the architectural art with which it was designed. Its interior is illuminated by the light that enters through the stain-glassed dome of outmatching perfection that shows characteristic religious scenes. The main Altar is recovered with gold leaf, the pulpit is carved prodigiously in wood, and all the chapels and lesser altars, have a similar style of execution.
The Church of the Concepción
Well-known in Cajamarca as a "Church of Nuns", it is located at the intersection of streets Amalia Puga and Guillermo Urrelo. It is completely built of volcanic stone, however, of a very simple and sober architectural style; its facade has a tower with steeple and in its interior is found chapels and altars carved in wood or cast of brass.
The Ransom Room
Located on the street Amalia Puga No. 750, a half block from La Plaza de Armas, now, it constitutes the main historical monument of Cajamarca, being the only vestige of the Incan architecture and the only witness of the epilogue of the capture of the Inca Atahualpa. In this enclosure 11.80 meters long, 7.30 meters wide and 3.1 meters of high, the Inca Atahualpa was imprisoned the last days of his life. In exchange of a promise of freedom, on the part of the Spaniards, his emissaries, coming from all Inca Empire, filled this room once with gold and twice with silver. However, it is said that the promise could not be completed because the gold and silver collected was distributed without arriving to term of offer, while the Inca was condemned to die garrotted.
The Historical Houses
Traditional houses of Cajamarca are distributed in almost the complete old section of the city; they are characterized by the gates carved in stone that adorn their facades. However, besides the vestibules and passageways, their interiors show the architectural usages of the colonial time, such as, several interior patios with large rooms around.