"Cultural World Heritage Site" by UNESCO
Lima "The Very Noble, Distinguished and Very Loyal City of the
Kings" as says in the Coat-of-Arms received from the Kings of
Spain on December 7th, 1537; three times prized "The Garden
It was the headquarters of the Spain crown government's authority, forty
Spaniard viceroys governed in the Palace of Pizarro during 282 years. From their
foundation up to 1821, under the dynasties of the Asturias and Borbones, it was
the center of the biggest political power in all the Spanish colonies.
Lima had its great acme during the XVII and XVIII centuries. Its material
progress, the construction of big palaces and houses, its churches and convents
treasured of art jewels, all this amid the luxury and wealth of its nobility
that made boast of its mansions and dresses, granted Lima the fame of being the
richest and prosperous city in all the colonies.
During the Colony, the city was walled, for protection of pirate attacks, and
this area is the one that today is known as "Damero de
Pizarro", "Lima Cuadrada" or "El
Cercado" and it corresponds to the historical center of Lima
located among the avenues Tacna, Grau, Abancay and the Rímac River.
During the Republican Age, Lima was the first city of South America that had
railroad (Lima-Callao), telegraph and gas illumination. It was during Marshal
Ramón Castilla's government.
The Historical Center of Lima conserves numerous constructions, that due to
its immense beauty, in the architectural context, and for the artistic jewels of
incalculable value, was declared as "World Heritage Site" by UNESCO. Independently the Church and
Convent of San Francisco were declared Cultural World Heritage Site.
In the last years, the Mayor of Lima Mr. Alberto Andrade has carried out an
extraordinary campaign for the recovery of order and cleaning of downtown,
restoration of numerous buildings, and a special campaign for restoration of the
old balconies. Today the center of Lima is an area to spend great and
unforgettable moments in a city tour.
All the monuments will be described in order to make easier your visit.
The Main Square
and urban center of the city of Lima. Founded by Francisco Pizarro on January
18, 1535, it is surrounded by the principal buildings dating from the colonial
period: the Government Palace, the Cathedral and the Municipality or city hall.
At the center of this handsome architectural complex there is a magnificent
ornamental bonze fountain, fused by Antonio Rivas, dating from 1650, and bearing
the coats-of-arms of Lima, Spain, and of the Viceroy Conde de Salvatierra.
Recently remodeled, the Square has recovered its traditional elegance, to become
one of Peru's special tourist attractions.
Francisco Pizarro put the first stone of the Cathedral the same day of the
foundation of Lima. The church was placed under the invocation of Nuestra
Señora de la Asunción, and on May 11, 1540 the holy sacred heart
of Jesus was placed for the first time. From then on it had different rebuilt
due to earthquakes. Particularly noteworthy are its altars consecrated to Santo
Toribio de Mogrovejo and the Virgen de la Evangelización. Pope John Paul
II crowned the statue of the Virgen de la Evangelización, a gift sent by
King Carlos V of the Spain, in a special ceremony during his visit to Peru in
1985. Other outstanding features are the choirstalls, the churrigueresque
(Spanish baroque) chapel of the Immaculate, the main altar and a Christ made of
carved ivory. Entering to the right is the crypt with remains of the conqueror
Francisco Pizarro. The Museum of Religious Art is located in the Sacristy. To
one side of the Church is located the Bishop Palace with beautiful balconies.
"House of Government" or the "House of
Pizarro". From the foundation of Lima, it was the elected place of
the conqueror Francisco Pizarro for the construction of his house and
government's headquarters. After his death in 1541, it has been the headquarters
of all the Peruvian governors, Viceroys and Presidents, until now.
At the moment are conserved magnificent living rooms, like the Golden Living
room that has rich pictorial collections. It is the official residence of the
President of the Republic. Every day at 11:45 a.m. in the main esplanade,
fronting the Main Plaza, is carried out the guard's change, (Húsares de
Junín), ceremony that is recommended to attend.
Palacio Municipal (Hall City)
the same place that the first town hall of the colony, Nicolás de Ribera
"the Old" founded in Lima on 1535. Its current construction
corresponds to 1939, work of José Alvarez C., Emilio Harth Terré
and Ricardo de Jara Malachowski. Beautiful colonial wooden balconies, of sober
and elegant interior. The Hall City has an important collection of
Peruvian paintings and photographs, as well as the historical documents of the
Founding of Lima on January 18, 1535 and the Independence of Peru, obtained in
Pancho Fierro Art Gallery
Pancho Fierro art gallery is located in Pasaje Santa Rosa. It is used by the
cultural affairs section of the Hall City of Lima, to display photographs,
paintings and costumes of old Lima.
Monument to Tauli Chusco
large stone in place in Pasaje Santa Rosa, a small street leading into the Plaza
Mayor, beside de Hall City, commemorates Tauli Chusco, the last Curaca or
Indian governor of the Rímac Valley. This monument was unveiled on the
450th anniversary of the founding of the city of Lima.