Every day at noon, the guard at the palace changes, a ceremony based on the event at Buckingham Palace. But it a way, the ceremony in Peru is much more colorful. First, the bolivarist uniforms, with the plumed hats and bright colors, make a great spectacle. Secondly, the Peruvian guards employ a variety of steps/kicks to get themselves in position, including the highest-kicking goose steps I have ever seen. Furthermore, it will strike most anglophonic observers as odd that a martial band would play Simon and Garfunkel during such a serious ceremony! In fact, they are playing the song "El Condor Pasa", written by a Peruvian in the 1940's but borrowed by the American duo in the 1960's (it's amazing what you learn when you travel).
Once we got in (see Warnings and Dangers), we found the tour of the Peru's Presidential Palace to be interesting. Unfortunately (from my perspective, not that of the tour guide), the Palace was rebuilt after a 1920's fire by a variety of architects borrowing a variety of styles. How about some originality? For example, the room in the photo is modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Interestingly, it is used for the most important state functions and belatedly got air conditioning when they realized a small room full of hot-aired politicians gets, well, hot. It is the only room we toured that has air conditioning.
If you're lucky enough to get a tour of the Palace (it takes some doing and planning ahead) make sure you look at Pisarro's coat of arms on the back of the chairs in the state dining room. They show an Incan with chains around his neck.
By the way, President Toledo does not currently live here.
The Palacio De Gobierno is the home of the Peruvian president. It is a relatively new building built in 1937 in the style of French Baroque architecture. Formerly the site was the home of Francisco Pizzaro. Everyday around noon there is an elaborate changing of the guard at the palace. Folks line up for over an hour to see the impressive event. Entrance into the palace is free even though there are armed guards posted to the sides of the palace. We did not get an opportunity to visit the inside of the palace because of the changing of the guard ceremony going on at about the same time.
This is the official residence of the president of Peru and the building was only completed in 1938. It was on this site in 1541 that Francisco Pizarro was murdered. Tours can be arranged a day in advance by booking at the entrance. Unfortunately, we didn't have that information, so we didn't visit the interior.
From what I had read the City of Lima's water treatment program is a work in progress and unreliable. I would recommend purchasing bottled water from the local grocery store. From talking to folks the San Luis brand appears to be one of the best. Oh yes the water you will find comes with either "sin gas," or "con gas." The latter being club soda so unless you are looking for mixing drinking go with "sin," or without gas.
The place for the palace was choosen by Francisco Pizarro. It is unknown in what year Pizarro started to build his residens. During the first years after the conquering it was a turbulent period and Pizarro had to for some time leave his newborn city. However, when he returned in September, 1535, it is known to have been ready.
After the death of Pizarro and the following centuries, the exterior of the palace was not well mantained. Outside there was big commerce on the streets, "vendedores ambulantes". In 1884 the government of the republic decided to give the palace a more dignified and prestigious view, and the commerce outside was prohibited. A new facad was constructed.
The palace have injured from three fires, the biggest one in 1921. The palace of today shows the result of a big restoration of the Pizarro palace, and it was inaugerated in 1938.
The palace is about 20.000 m2. The polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski was responsible for the restoration work. He has also projected other important buildings in Lima.
The changing of the guards is daily at 12.00.
The Presidential Palace in Lima is located on the Zocalo for Lima. The Zocalo is quite large, with the palace occupying one side. As my travels in Lima were quite limited, I could not tell you how to find this palace, but most people in Lima would be happy to point out the directions to you.
This building was built by Francisco Pizarro when he was Governor c 1535. Then, it was used by the Viceroys of the Viceroyalty of Peru. There were several fires - the last one was in the 1920's, so some of it isn't very old. The President doesn't actually live here anymore. People used to be able to visit, but that may not be possible now.
Every day at noon, the guard at the palace changes and this is fun to watch according to some of our friends on the ship who saw it on Friday.
Because of APEC, the Presidential Palace was being used for meeting of various heads of states and therefore the square and Cathedral were closed for a good part of the time we were there. But on Monday, when we did our Highlights tour, the square was open again.
After we came out of the cathedral we saw a band forming up in the forecourt and a limo, and were told that the Chinese ambassador was getting ready to leave. We waited to see if he would come out, but he never showed nor did we get to see the changing of the guard.
The magnificent building of the Government Palace dates from the XVI Century and was known as "House of Pizarro" because the spanish conqueror worked and lived here since the foundation of Lima until his death in 1941.
The change of guard takes place daily at 11:45 AM. I´ve missed it when I visited Lima... shame on me!!!
I had the opportunity to view a spectacular changing of the guard ceremony in front of Lima’s Presidential Palace. The ceremony, almost an hour long, was heralded by the Presidential band, blowing through trumpets and French horns in bright red suits as they paraded around the courtyard. This was followed by a hundred or so militia men who executed elaborate patterned marches in synchronicity around the courtyard. After 30 minutes, the band and the militia marched out of the palace gates and started a slow procession around the main square. Dozens of men riding horses joined in the march, and a sizable crowd of locals and tourists gathered around the square to witness the spectacle. The event was quite memorable even with the sight of two armed and manned military tanks sitting at each corner of the palace facing the crowd in the square.
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