Lima, the capital of Peru, is
located on the west central coast of South America, 150 m/427 ft.a.s.l.
Climate: Seasons are opposite to those of the United States
and Europe. Summer is from December through April. The average temperature is between
25ºC in summer and 15ºC in winter.
In the very ancient times, there was a fishermen village in the area, whose
inhabitants were essentially religious. Later on, the Proto-Lima culture appeared
comprising two expressions: the Maranga and the Aramburu.
The cultures in the
Lima valley were developed by three people: the Collas coming from
Canta and Huarochiri, the Huanchos who came following the course of the Rimac river, and
the Huallas who entered the valley through Carabayllo.
When the Incas arrived, they respected their buildings, way of living and religion,
allowing them to worship the new God Pachacarnac along with their own god the Sun.
The city of Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on January
18, 1535, reaching its greatest splendor in the 17th and 18th centuries, during which it
came to be the seat of the political and military power represented by the viceroy.
During the reign of the Austrians and Borbon dynasties, a succession of 40 viceroys
occupied the Government house.
During this period of 282 years, religious
life 'flourished. This being the time of Santa Rosa of Lima, Patron Saint of Peru, America
and the Philippines, the world known San Martin de Porras, Patron Saint of barbers and
hairdressers, and also San Juan Masias.
General Jose de San Martin, proclaimed the independence of Peru in Lima on July
It was later, during the government of Mariscal Ramon Castilla, that Lima took an advanced
step over the cities of the American continent by implementing a railroad for the first
time in South America between the cities of Lima and Callao. It was also during this
period that gaslight and the telegraph were installed and black slavery was abolished.
PLAZA DE ARMAS (Main Square):
It was Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima who determined the area for the square, as
well as the location for the Government House (now Government Palace), the Cathedral and
the Cabildo (Town Hall). Today, this square continues to occupy the same original
area, in the middle of which there is a splendid bronze fountain dating back to 1650.
THE CATHEDRAL: It
was initially devoted to Our Lady of Assumption. Almost entirely destroyed during the 1746
earthquake, the Viceroy Jose Antonio Manso de Velasco Conde de Superunda had it rebuilt in
1758. Its interior is remarkable for the intricate carving work of the wooden seats of the
choir, the heavily ornamented "Inmaculada" chapel of baroque style and an ivory
Christ carved by Martinez Montañez, a splendid gift from King Charles V Entering the
church and to the fight there is a chapel which holds the remains of the conqueror
Francisco Pizarro. In the sacristy there is a museum of religious art.
PALACE: Also known as the House of Pizarro because since the foundation of
Lima, this was the place where the conqueror worked and lived until his death in 1541. It
has magnificent halls such as the Salon Dorado where important paintings are
exhibited. It also has an elegant area which is the official residence of the President of
Peru. It is recommended to attend the change of guard which takes place daily at 11:45 am.
at the front esplanade
SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH AND
MONASTERY: (Comer of Conde de Superunda and Camana Streets). Dates from
the end of the l6th century. On the left, the Virgin of the Rosary is venerated. To the
fight there is an altar for Peruvian saints: Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porras and
San Juan Masias. Under each of the images there is a silver urn containing relics of these
saints. The tower of the church is of a singular architectural style, and the monastery is
one of the best preserved in Lima.
SAN PEDRO CHURCH:
(Comer of Azangaro and Ucayali Streets) This church was built by the Jesuits in 1624. Its
side aisles are notable for their arcades and gold-leaf-covered altars of baroque style.
Specially remarkable are the altars of San Ignacio de Loyola and Santa Lucia. The church
houses numerous colonial paintings and has a laboriously carved stone portico.
SAN FRANCISCO CHURCH: (Ancash Street, 2nd block) This colonial architectural complex includes the monastery, the
church of San Francisco and the chapels of La Soledad and El Milagro. The
monastery, cloisters and entrance hall are embelished with authentic Sevillian tiles
dating back to 1620. Also remarkable are its Museum of Religious Art, the Zurbaran room
and the library. The complex was built over underground galleries or catacombs which were
used as cemeteries during the colony. These can be visited.
LA MERCED CHURCH: Jiron de la Union Street 6th block) This church has a notable stone portico (18th
century). Its main altar renders homage to the Virgin of the Mercies, Patron Saint of the
Armed Forces of Peru and who holds the tide of Mariscala (marshal). In the fight
aisle, the Cruz del Padre Urraca (Padre Urraca's Cross) is venerated because of his
JESUS MARIA CHURCH:
(Comer of Moquegua and Camana Streets) Single aisle church with magnificent altars carved
on wood covered with gold leaf and baroque style pulpit.
SANTA ROSA CHURCH AND
SANCTUARY: (Tacna Avenue, I st block) The church was built upon the place
where Isabel Flores de Oliva, Santa Rosa de Lima, was born (1586). It keeps its relics and
the famous doctorcito or image of the Christ Child who is believed to have assisted
her when taking care of the sick people. In the garden are the hermitage that she built
with her brother and the well in which the saint dropped the key of the lock of her
penitence waist chain.
THE NAZARENAS CHURCH AND
CONVENT: (Comer of Huancavelica. Street and Tacna Avenue). Built during
the colony upon the place that used to be the quarter of Pachacamilla, a place
inhabited by descendants of black slaves brought from Angola who had conformed a
confraternity. It is said that one of them painted an image of Christ on the Cross upon a
wall. This wall remained unharmed in spite of a severe earthquake (1655). It was since
then that cult and devotion to the image have considerably increased. A replica of the
painting, was made and it is carried throughout the city, every October (I 8th, I 9th and
28th), in impressive processions. The image is known as Señor de los Milagros (Lord
of the Miracles), Cristo Morado (Christ in Purple) or Cristo de los Teniblores (Christ
of the Earthquakes) and is considered the Patron Saint of Lima.
SAN SEBASTIAN CHURCH: (Ica Street, 5th block) This church dates back to 1544 and was the first parish in Lima.
It was here that Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Pon-as, Jose Santos Chocano and
Francisco Bolognesi, among other prominent Peruvians, were baptized. It has been recently
SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH:
(Comer of Ica and Camana Streets) It was built in the 19th century. Of its original
structure remains the baroquestile portico, the sacristy with carvings in wood and in the
foreroom, a beautiftily carved ceiling, a tile skirting and also an impressive wooden
sculpture of La Muerte (Death) by Baltazar Gavilan
SAN MARCELO CHURCH:
(Comer of Rufino Torrico Street and Emancipacion Avenue) It was founded by the Augustinian
congregation during the middle of the 16th century. Its facade has expressions of baroque
was an important religious centre
before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLO_ GY AND HISTORY. Plaza Bolivar in the district of
Pueblo Libre. Phone (51-1) 463-5070. Visits: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5:45 pm.
Sundays, from 9 am to 4:45 pm.
Evidence of all cultures in the Peruvian civilization are exhibited in a chronological and
didactic way, being the most interesting the collections of Chavin, Paracas, Nasca, Mochica, Huari, Chimu, and Inca.
Paintings, objects, documents and relics of the colony, emancipation, independence process
and republican period are exhibited in the adjoining manor house, which was the residence
of the viceroys Pezuela and La Sema and Peru's libertadores San Martin and Bolivar
GOLD OF PERU MUSEUM: Alonso
de Molina Street 1100 in the district of Monterrico. Phone (51-1) 435-2917. Daily visits
from 12 am to 7 pm.
Exhibition of thousands of gold pieces such as necklaces, funerary masks, scepters,
ceremonial cups, tumis (sacrificial knives), nose rings, earrings and idols, which show
how advanced were the gold and silver works in ancient Peru. There is also a large
collection of weaponry from. different parts of the world.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM: Bolivar Avenue 1515 in the district of Pueblo Libre. Phone (51-1) 461-1312 / 461-1835. Visits: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm.
Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm.
Interesting collection of ceramics, textiles and gold and silver work, specially from the
northern civilizations. There is also a room with erotic ceramics and a vault containing
pieces of gold and jewelry.
MUSEO DE LA NACION:
(East Javier Prado Avenue 2465 in the district of San BorJa. Phone (51-1) 476-9875 /
476-9901. Visits: Tuesday to Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm.
The most important aspects in the development of ancient Peru are presented in impressive
halls. There are also replicas of archaeological sites, engravings and dioramas.
AMANO MUSEUM: Retiro Street 160 in the district of Miraflores. Phone (51-1) 442-2909. Visits are subject
to previous telephone appointment
Private collection of Mr. Yoshitaro Amano exhibiting selected pieces of ceramics and
textiles from the Chancay culture.
Paseo Colon Avenue 125. Phone (51-1) 423-4732. Visits: Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5
Panoramic exhibition of Peruvian culture: pre-Columbian ceramics and textiles, colonial
furniture and silverware, costumes and tapad~s (veiled women) and also paintings from the
Cusco School, as well as from the Republican and Contemporary periods.
BANCO CENTRAL DE RESERVA
MUSEUM: Comer of Lampa. and Ucayali Streets. Phone (51-1) 427-6250.
Visits: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 1pm.
Pre-Columbian ceramics, coins and paintings, among other collection pieces.
SAN FRANCISCO DE JESUS
MUSEUM: Ancash Street, 3rd Nock Daily visits from 10 am to 5:45 pm.
Liturgical pieces from the colonial period, carvings and paintings by Zurbaran.
MUSEUM OF THE CONGRESS AND THE
INQUISITION: Plaza del Congreso Square, also known as Plaza Bolivar and Plaza de ]a Inquisicion. Phone (51-1)
427-0365. Visits: Monday to Friday: 9 am to I pm. and 2 to 6 pm. Saturdays: from 9 am to
The audience chamber has a splendid carved ceiling. The original cells show inscriptions
made by the prisoners. There are also on-the-site reproductions of the punishments
inflicted by order of the Holy Office Tribunal.
MUSEUM OF PERUVIAN CULTURE:
Alfonso Ugarte Avenue 650. Phone (51-1) 423-5892. Visits: Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to
2:30 pm. Saturdays from 10 am to 2:30 pm.
Exhibition of Peruvian popular art (ceramics, textiles, leather work and religious
JAVIER PRADO MUSEUM OF
NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SAN MARCOS MAJOR UNIVERSITY
Arenales Avenue 1256 in the district of Lince. Phone (51-1) 471-0117. Visits:
Monday to Saturday from 9 to 12 am. Sundays from 9 am to 1pm.
Collection of Peruvian flora and fauna specimen and minerals, started by Italian
investigator Antonio Raimondi. Interesting dioramas.
MUSEUM OF ITALIAN ART:
Pasco de la Republica Avenue, 2nd block - Parque Neptuno. Phone (51-1) 423-9932. Visits:
Monday to Friday from 9 am to 2:30 pm.
Italian works of art from the last and present centuries. Temporary expositions are
CONVENTO DE LOS DESCALZOS
Alameda de Jos Descalzos 202 in the district of Rimac. Phone (51-1) 481-044 1.
Visits: Thursday to Monday: 9:30 am to I pm. and 3 to 6 pm.
Valuable colonial paintings and religious objects.
CATHEDRAL MUSEUM OF RELIGIOUS
ART: Main Square. Phone (51-1) 427-5980. Visits: Monday to Friday: 10 to
12:45 am. and 2 to 4:45 pm.
Carvings, ornaments, paintings, furniture and liturgical objects from the colonial period.
MUSEUMS IN THE MAIN QUARTERS OF THE SAN MARCOS
MAJOR UNIVERSITY: (Parque Universitano)
ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM: Phone (51-1) 428-0052. Visits: Monday to Saturday
from 8 am to 2 pm.
Exhibition of the Chavin collection as well as the latest archaeological findings made by
the University. There is also a collection of interesting pre-Columbian musical
ART AND HISTORY MUSEUM:
Phone (51-1) 427-4870. Visits: Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm. Colonial paintings,
books, furniture, documents and Peruvian popular art.
BULLFIGHTING MUSEUM: Hualgayoc Street 332 in the district of Rimac - Plaza de Acho.
Paintings, costurnes, troomes and pictures of the most renowned bullfighters .
PALACIO DE TORRE TAGLE: (Ucayali Street, 3rd block)
Present headquarters of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This mansion dates back
to the early 18th century. Its main particularity is the inspiration of the Sevillian,
Mudejar and criollo styles in its architecture. It has a stone portico and two carved
balconies, considered the most beautiful in Lima.
CASA DE PILATOS: (Ancash Street 390)
Present headquarters of the National Cultural Institute. Dating back to the 16th century,
it has stone columns and a monumental stairway facing the front door.
CASA ALIAGA: (Jiron de la Union Street 224)
When founding Lima (1535), Francisco Pizarro awarded to conqueror Jeronimo de Aliaga a
piece of land owned by curaca Tauli Chusco (main authority in the Rimac valley) which
served as a pre-Columbian adoratorium. Upon this land the conqueror built this mansion in
which his descendants have lived since then. An unsual case in America.
CASA DE LAS TRECE MONEDAS: (Ancash Street 536)
Its name means The House of the Thirteen Coins. This single-storey residence dating back
to mid 18th century still preserves its original architectural elements.
CASA DE LA RIVA: (Ica Street, 426)
An 18th century building. Now headquarters of the "Entre Nous" Cultural
CASA DE OQUENDO OR PALACIO DE OSAMBELA: (Conde de Superunda Street 298)
Finished in 1807, this mansion has five balconies and a mirador from which the first owner
of the place, Don Martin de Osambela watched with a spyglass the arrival of galleons to
the port in Callao.
CASA DE LA RIVA AGUERO: (Camana Street 459). Eighteen century splendid mansion in which the Riva Aguero Institute,
and the Center for Humanistic Studies of the Universidad Catolica, have their premises
today. It also houses the Popular Tradition and Art Museum, with its selected exhibition
of popular Peruvian art donated by private collectors, the best of which are its masks and
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