Lampa: The vermillion city of the blue windows


Story of a murder

story of a murder

Lampa is an old city near my own city, in Lampa’s Province, in the heart of Puno’s region in Peru, at 3930 meters of altitude (12 893 ft.), it’s quite old but Spaniards re-founded it in 1678. This is called “The Pink City” or “The City of the Seven Wonders”… pink city for the color of the walls but to me they are more vermillion so I titled that way this article; it’s a small city so I don’t know which are those seven wonders, lol.

These photographs were took in 2007 with my first camera I was still one year away to end the university and I had the Hewlett Packard camera that my older brother gave me. So if you don’t tolerate noise I caution you to don’t continue if you care about your eyes XD

Magic door to another world

door to magician home

Walking beyond the city surely we'll find a heaven

walking beyond the city surely we’ll find a heaven

Touching your vermillion skin

caressing  your vermillion skin

To squeeze my nose

to squeeze my nose

Let's go...

let’s go



Man with monocle

man with monocle

Walls preparing for the long night

walls before the long night

It looks empty but that’s because the population works in Juliaca and sleep there, so today it’s more a bedroom city. When Spaniards founded it the population was white, but after the Tupac Amaru’s revolution whites left the city and went to the coast.

Let's built a church made of colors

let’s build a church made of colors

The church is a colonial building dedicated to Saint James, sadly the complete name is “Saint James the Indian Killer”, and Spanish descendants consider us as “Indians” Of course I couldn’t adore, reverence or respect a figure meant to kill us o.O!! But the building is nice.

A closed door

a closed door

In fact I saw the facade analyzed by an Italian architect in a classic text at university, the arch unifying the diverse elements under it.

gentle light upon the old stones

gentle light upon the old stones

Fields of happy green

fields of happy green

A last bit of light

a last bit of light

unlimited spaces surrounding the building

unlimited spaces surrounding the building

There is a mystery, although I think it’s more a secret, about why the tower is so far from the main body of the temple. I guess for some structural reason, but that’s just a thought.

Intimate garden

intimate garden

My road of infinite geometry

My road of infinite geometry

European echoes

European echoes

The city hall has a copy, supposedly the only one on the world, of the Pietà of Michelangelo. That day everything was closed so I photographed from the window. I’ve seen it before when I was a kid, I liked it so much.

Falling into infinite lines beyond the light

falling into infinite lines beyond the light

I found this green beauty inside the city hall. I like the idea of infinite.

Sleeping Venus

sleeping Venus

This is a Venus found near Lampa, it seems we occupied it from several thousands of years ago. Our society, the native side at least, is a patriarchal-matriarchal one.



Com'on, you want to climb me!

c’mon! you want to climb me :D

These trees are a native species that in Aymara we call “Qiñwa”, in Spanish it’s called “queñual” and in English you would call it Polylepis. I climbed them once, they’ve such a texture! :-)


And well, this was part of that afternoon. We, my parents and brothers, took a bus to come back to Juliaca city.

A sky so close to us

a sky so close to us

28 thoughts on “Lampa: The vermillion city of the blue windows

  1. I like the vermillion city, the church is great but I wonder why the tower is separate. I do like the contrast of the blue windows with the orange walls.

  2. This is a great travel article, Francis. As always, the I love the titles of the photos, especially the one about finding heaven. At close to 13, 000 feet, they’re pretty darn close.
    I really like the old church with the tower of mystery. It’s too bad that such a beautiful building is dedicated to such a villain:P
    Que tengas un buen dia! :D

    1. Yes, heaven is quite closer, I bet you couldn’t see clearer stars in the coast :D (except perhaps in Atacama’s desert but I need to go there)
      hehe, that saint make me remember the devas, the Indian gods to the Iranians where the demons. I guess that Spaniards Saint James is a kind of national hero, here not so much to say it kindly :D
      Que tengas un bonito día también Melissa, gracias por la visita ^^/

  3. I often feel something very special when I look at your photos. And there are a couple here that literally took my breath away.
    My favourites ones of this series are : Walking beyond the city… Waiting… Unlimited spaces… Falling into infinite… Fight…
    … « Waiting » being my very favourite…
    Thank you, Francis, for these journeys into your world, always so full of light in spite some darker days.

    1. In part I guess because I try to tell stories in my photographs more than show photographs :-), in part because Peru is a bit exotic even for us. I feel something special when I see your photographs too, particularly the soft light of your land… almost material, like a luminous spirit trying to be a gentle being of silk.
      “Waiting…” I think a bit in Hopper, his compositions of people with eyes toward the empty walls and cities, but that actually are concentrated in the contemplation of the thoughts inside the persons. Lampa is a special city hiding secrets, like the underground ossuaries or the strange architecture.
      Speaking about architecture, usually the beauty is born from the meeting of light with the shadows; darker days make brighter the other days.
      A hug from far away Caroline, thanks for walking with me this little, virtual, journey.

    1. Thanks hadorable lady :-) btw how is it going for you the integration with Flickr? I know it’s complicated and perhaps you would prefer the comfort of the paid WordPress version. In any case good luck (-_^)!

      1. Im trying lah! ^^ Nooo Im not going to pay 99$ just for more space :]]

      2. Just post my latest entry using your tutorial, so easyyyyy, thank you so much Francis!!!

      3. fiuu! I’m glad this worked for you (y) and happy to help a person that shares with us her marvelous world. Kind regards hadorable :-)

  4. I really love the shot with the legend “Walking beyond the city surely we’ll find a heaven”. The lines, the colour of the sky… everything is gorgeous about this shot. I also like the shot with the legend “waiting”. The light and the colours are gorgeous as well.

    Nice post !

    1. That photograph is an ordinary day in an extraordinary city. Fortunately it wasn’t attacked by the tourism :-) (besides me and my parents and brothers that day I mean) I’d like to come back there some time, but it’s harder to go to there because my time is needed to help my parents. I’d like to shot the underworld of the city with the skeletons of the ossuary and the near lake… Thanks a lot for your visit :-)

  5. “Man with monocle”!?!?!? Francis, you have an amazing imagination! I envy you! Without this title, picture that was not remarkable. Accompanied by this title, image becomes brilliant! Mister “Ambassador”…you have my admiration! Your words are more “colorful” than photos!!!

    1. Thanks Dan :D! I always appreciate a lot when somebody reads my titles… Sometimes they take time to think, you’ve precise titles too.

  6. What a unique place to live , the architecture is amazing, the color of the buildings… Is so very different than here, I love seeing and reading about how others must have lived and what is going on now.
    It looks like your so close to,the clouds… Really something . Fantastic work Francis

    1. I think the closer I think is that city where artists from your country goes to relax or pass the winter in Mexico, it’s San Miguel de Allende. It’s completely different from Lampa but I think you could get a similar feeling of colorful buildings.
      USA is also quite fascinating with so many culture and nature, thanks kind lady ^_^

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s