Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum of the God Ol’ Days
Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum of the God Ol’ Days.
I recognized that I had a friend on the bus once we arrived in Lima, Matias from Poland/Germany. We checked into the same hostel and went out for lunch. Ceviche, Peruvian style raw fish, is freaking awesome! Who knew that something that should taste so terrible could be so good? I could eat that three times a day…
We went to explore a couple of Lima’s 40+ museums. On recommendation from a friend were the Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum and the San Francisco Convent/Catacombs. The Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum could have been a lot more interesting, but some numbers really stood out to me. They were incredibly lower than my mind would have ever imagined. Out of 100,000 people brought to the attention of the inquisition (really, only 100,000 people according to the Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum? That seems skewed!), only 1,500 were burned. Now 1,500 people is a lot of people when you are from a small town, but that certainly seems like a small number to be connected to ‘The Spanish Inquisition.’ There was a system that was followed where before someone could be brought before the inquisition, three references from family members or close friends needed to be presented about the subject to be questioned. What about the rampant witch burning craze that we grow up hearing about? Something sits unwell with all of this that they told us at the Lima Spanish Inquisition Museum…
The San Francisco Convent/Catacombs came with a S/$7 ($2.70 U.S.) entrance fee and a guide who seemed to be sure that we were in the middle of a race rather than museum tour. The most information that I got from the tour was that Jesus may have been a transsexual according to a depiction of him in the church with feminine features and a dress. That image must turn some Christians into blood thirsty hyenas.
Underneath of the San Francisco Convent, the Catacombs were fascinating. The Catacombs were actually the Lima cemetery from 1547-1821 when 30,000 human bodies were buried under the church because people during those times believed that being buried under a church would bring them closer to God. The casket sized rectangular holes are 4 meters deep, and bodies were stacked on bodies with lime to help them decompose faster. I considered the smell that must have lurked below the floor of the church. We walked over-top of graves and some of them were exposed to present the bones. Femur bones last the longest, taking the most time to decompose.
In recent years, researchers organized many of the bones together into categories. A large circular cavern grave was dug in the catacombs in order to absorb seismic waves from earthquakes and create stability in the church above. According to our guide, standing under the church, next to a mass catacomb grave is the safest place to be in Lima. If not, well, look how close you are to god! Yuck!…
Back at the hostel, Matias and I drank beer in the bar. We were supposed to be in a party-hostel but the energy was low and strange. Either I could talk to a very boring Portuguese man to my right, or else to my left some Canadian thing with a falsetto voice in a peach blouse that had hands bigger than me leading me to believe that she probably has bigger penis than me as well, left me confused about what was going on and eager to get away to find a rock bar. My friend Matias ran out of steam and wanted to go to bed.
So, I had a visit with an insecure girl from New Orleans who I was slightly teasing in a silly and innocent way who somehow got offended, told me that she did not even know my name and that I did not know who I was talking to and for all I knew she could have been the owner of the hostel. I smiled and told her that I hoped she was because I would like a bigger room. She left to go and sit at a table away from the bar after that. I had actually been very sweet to her initially and I am not sure what really made her mad in the first place. Maybe it was my own inquisition to the ‘firecracker’ Peruvian girl who finally brought a great energy into the room. In any case, it is strange for me to get in trouble for being a dick when I am not actually being one, while in most cases when I am being a dick I just seem to be able to get away with saying whatever I want to say… The peculiarities of life!