Walking around Central Lima you will see numerous examples of very ornate balconies. Most of them were built during the 17th and 18th century by the Spanish. They were built mainly for ceremoniall purposes and in the colonial style that was popular in Europe and South America at that time. Some of the latter balconies were built as a place to relax and enjoy the evening. Many of them have been painted to sharply contrast with the facade of the main house.
Casa de Osambela Oquendo is a 40-room mansion that was finished in 1807. It was renovated in 2003, and is used for various cultural activities. I was able to visit part of the house.
There are 3 floors, plus a Mirador (rooftop tower) where the owner could watch activity in the harbor. The staircases grew increasingly steep and narrow, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the last one. I did get up to the roof, though, and what a contrast to the elegant house! (See 3d photo.)
What exactly is Colonial Spanish architecture? I don't know. I looked it up and found that
"...by the end of the 16th century..most of the buildings.., including the cathedrals, were built for military purposes and were consequently massive and plain. This was a period of transition from Spanish Gothic to Spanish Renaissance, with many buildings reminiscent of the plateresque style, with contrasting bare walls and ornamental doorways
During most of the 17th and 18th cent. the baroque style held sway, and in the 18th cent. the sumptuous Churrigueresque ornamentation of Spain was exported to the colonies. In addition to employing the large forms and curving lines of the traditional European baroque, Spanish colonial buildings maintained the contrast between decorated and plain surfaces of the earlier period."
So I guess it is plain walls and ornamented doorways, windows and balconies.
The city hall is across from the cathedral on the main square. It is a yellow building with colonial wooden balconies and inside is a collection of Peruvian paintings and photographs, as well as the historical documents of the Founding of Lima on and the 1821 Independence of Peru. There is also a library. Next to it on the square is the headquarters of the Club de la Union. It looked like there were restaurants under the arches along the square where people were eating (photo 3)
Around the Plaza de Armas you'll e able to find many interesting buildings. One of them is the Casa de Correos y Telégrafos (post office). This magnificent building today hosts shops where you can find different items, and it's in any case to walk around if you have the time.
Near the Plaza de Armas, by the corner where the Pizarro monument is, you will find this beautiful building wit an inner arcade with many shops, apart from the mailboxes, stamps and so. There are even bars and souvenir shops in here and, even though you are not buying anythin, is a good place to walk around.
This wide pedestrian street is the main avenue in Lima, at least for tourists. It goes from San Martin square to Plaza de Armas and is all day and night busy and crowded (well, the photo was taken at 7am on a sunday!).
There are many shops, bars and even old colonial buildings along the street. Is the place for souvenirs in case you are looking for that.
Lima's Plaza de Armas, or Main Square, is the heart of the Lima and the starting place for touring its nearby monuments. The Cathedral, Municipal Palace and many examples of colonial architecture surround the plaza.
Típica mansión limeña del siglo XVIII, que perteneció primero a la familia Rada luego a la familia Goyeneche.
La fachada es de composición asimétrica, ostentando dos balcones de cajón y una portada de piedra de dos cuerpos.
Actualmente pertenece al Banco de Crédito del Perú
Su verdadero nombre es Casa de Esquivel y Jarava. Fue construida a fines del siglo XVI, habiendo sufrido varias transformaciones, siempre manteniendo su típica portada de piedra. Actualmente es sede del Tribunal Constitucional.
El antiguo edificio universitario fue el lugar donde los jesuitas, desde 1604 hasta 1767, albergaron el noviciado de San Antonio Abad, para convertirse luego en el Colegio Real de San Carlos y tras la independencia, en sede universitaria.
Mansión construída por un comerciante español, Martín de Osambela, en la primera década del siglo XIX. A mediados del siglo XX la adquirió José de la Asunción Oquendo y posteriormente el Estado, albergando desde 1985 el Centro Cultural Garcilaso de la Vega. Se distingue de las demás casonas por disponer de una fachada de tres plantas, coronada por un mirador, y porque no tiene los típicos dos balcones volados, sino que seis. Se dice que desde el mirador el dueño miraba sus embarcaciones en el puerto de Callao.
We saw so many beautiful buildings while driving around the city. This one was in the historic area near one of the plazas, and was just one of many in the neighborhood.
Teatro Colon opened in 1914, and is one of the oldest theaters in Lima. It is closed for renovation, and will be a cultural venue when it reopens.
Lima has a nice collection of Colonial style building in the center. This makes it a great place to spend a day wandering about and visiting the museums and such.