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 Lima or the city of the kings was founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Its strategic location near the Rio Rimac allowed to enter easily the country. Some 200,000 Inca were still living in the area when the Spaniards colonized the city. In 1543, Lima became officially the capital of Viceroy after difficult beginnings due to the Manco Capac II rebellion. The seventeenth century has marked the exponential growth of the town that went from 25 000 to 80 000 people in 1687. At that time, fleets of ships transited loaded of silver from the Andean mines and goods from Europe and Asia. In 1821, Lima became the capital of independent Peru. However, the city was weakened by the conflict between royalist forces and insurgents that led to independence. The twentieth century marked the beginning of major renovation projects. The city is now synonymous with a large melting pot in its cuisine, architecture and population. The historic center is a Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 1991.

Sights of the Center of Lima

La Plaza mayor: Situated in the heart of the city, it used to be surrounded by small shops and businesses. If the original buildings can't be found today it still stands in its center a bronze fountain dating from 1650. Around the square entirely renovated in 1997, totaled the more important neo-colonial buildings such as the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Municipality of Lima.

Cathedral: Rose in the place designated by Francisco Pizarro to build the first church in the city. The cathedral disposes of a Baroque façade. Inside, you can admire the wooden choir stalls, various side altars and the remains of Francisco Pizarro.

Palacio de Gobierno: Former residence of Francisco Pizarro, it is the political center of Peru. Design with a baroque style, the palace has many courtyards and rooms dedicated to famous figures of Peruvian history. The changing of the guard can be observed each day at noon in the Patio de honor.

Monasterio de San Francisco: Dating from the eighteenth century, this building includes the church, the convent and the town square. It counts in particular with catacombs which houses nearly 70,000 graves. In addition, a geometric Moorish dome adorns the ceiling above the main staircase of the building.

Parque de la Murallao: The park shelter a part of the wall that surrounded the town in the eighth century to protect it from pirate attacks and enemies of the crown. Also found in this park a bronze statue of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

Iglesia de la Merced: Church dating from the sixteenth century, it has an impressive frontage in granite. Inside, it is possible to admire a neoclassical main altar as well as a wooden cross in the chapel that belonged to Father Pedro Urraca who would have had a vision of the Virgin.

Museum of the Inquisition: Real evidence of the Inquisition it gathers many objects and rooms that replicate typical scenes of that time.

Iglesia San Pedro: Built in 1636 by the Jesuits, it is a perfect example of Baroque architecture from the colonial era. Inside you can admire magnificent altarpieces and central naves completely covered with paintings and tiles.

Palacio Torre Tagle: Built in 1735 by the Treasurer of the Real Armada Española, Torre Tagle, it consists in a baroque portico decorated with wooden balconies in the Moorish style. This illustrates perfectly the architecture of Lima during the eighteenth century. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds from now on the place.

Museo Banco Central de Reserva del Peru: this museum can be divided into 3 parts: Archaeology, Peruvian Contemporary Painting and Folk Art. Different pieces of pre-Columbian pottery goldsmiths as well as paintings of the nineteenth and twentieth century are exposed there.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo: Founded during the sixteenth century, this church has a dome and beautiful cedar carved stalls in the choir. In addition, it houses the relics of three saints: San Juan Macias, Santa Rosa de Lima and San Martin de Porres.

Santuario de Santa Rosa de Lima: It was built near to the place where the first saint of the New World was born. In the garden there is a small shrine in honor of Santa Rosa.

Iglesia de las Nazarenas: Dating back to the seventeenth century, this church is famous because it was built on the place where a black slave painted a Christ on a wall. The wall was then the only one that withstanded the earthquake of 1655. Today, the wall can still be found in the church and every year in October a procession takes place with a replica of the fresco also called El Senor de Los Milagros.

Museo de Arte de Lima: This is the main museum of Fine Arts in Lima. It gathers a collection of textiles, ceramics and goldsmith of pre-Inca civilizations and numerous paintings.


Conventos de los Descalzos: Founded in the sixteenth century by the Franciscans, it gathers some 300 paintings of the schools of Lima, Quito and Cusco including the famous work of Diego Quispe Tito.

Cerro San Cristóbal: This hill considered as an "apu" or a sacred mountain disposes of a viewpoint at the top which offers stunning views of Lima.

East of Lima

Museo de la Nación: This museum houses a collection of objects of different Peruvian civilizations such as stone carvings of Chavin. There are also parts of the colonial era.

San Isidro

Museo Larco: Pre-Columbian Art Museum, it was founded by the famous archaeologist Rafael Larco Hoyle. The collection includes more than 50 000 vases and ceramics, textiles and gold objects. The museum also disposes of mummies from the civilizations Chavin, Chimu, Nazca and Inca as well as a collection of erotic huacos.

Museo Nacional of Archaeology, Antropologia e Historia: Interesting collection from the pre-Columbian art to the colonial period. It may be admired ceramics, pre-Columbian fabrics, goldsmithery and mummies. Another strong point of the museum is a stele from the Chavin culture discovered by the archaeologist Raimondi.

Huaca Huallamarca: Built between 200 and 500, this pyramid is the result of a series of cultural overlays, highlighting the cultures Lima, Wari and Inca. The site is built in adobe.


The Amano Museum: This museum gathers a remarkable collection of ceramic from the cultures Kotosh, Moche, Chimu, Nasca and Cupisnique among others. You can also see a wonderful collection of lace and textiles from the Chancay culture.

Huaca Pucllana: It is a ceremonial center of the Lima Culture built with a pyramidal shape and based on adobes. There is also a small on-site museum.

Enrico Poli Museum: Private collection which displays gold fabrics, silverware and paintings from Colonial and pre-Columbian era.


Puente de los Suspiros: Bridge of Sighs in English, it is wooden bridge where the lovers are used to meet.

Museo Pedro de Osma: This museum houses a collection of works of art, metal objects and furniture from the colonial period.
















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