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Monasterio de Santa Catalina

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The Monasterio de Santa Catalina is a cloistered convent in Arequipa, originally built in the 16th century. The founder of the monastery was a rich widow; The tradition of the time indicated that the second son or daughter of a family would enter religious service, and the convent accepted only women from high-class Spanish families. Each nun at Santa Catalina had between one and four servants or slaves, and the nuns invited musicians to perform in the convent, gave parties and generally lived a lavish lifestyle. Each family paid a dowry at their daughter’s entrance to the convent, and the dowry paid to gain the highest status was 2,400 silver coins (equivalent to around $50,000 today).

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