An example of "strength and overcoming": it has survived every natural disaster that has hit the city.
Very very old!
Of all the buildings left by the Spanish, San Francisco church is the oldest of those still standing. Ever since the first stone was laid in 1572, it has stoically resisted the many earthquakes which have destroyed the city, though the clock tower has suffered more than once. Inside, the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help dominates the high alter, and although it measures just 30 centimetres, it has great historical value. The conquistador Pedro de Valdivia took it with him on his colonizing expedition from Cuzco and according to legend, it protected him from his enemies. Next to the church a Franciscan convent was founded, today converted into the Colonial Museum which despite its name has mostly sacred art pieces, many of which were saved by the Franciscan congregation. Among the best pieces is a series of 54 painted canvassed in oil from the 17th century which show the life and work of St. Francis of Assisi.