Plaza Mayor And Surroundings, Lima
This is the main square in Lima and the centre of the old town. It is always busy, with people coming and going and often parades, demonstrations... 140 square meters.
Around it you will find:
- The Cathedral
- Archibishop Palace
- Government Palace
- Pizarro statue
There were so many balconies, that "limeños" never thought of them as being unique. Lima was simply considered "the city of the balconies"
In the viceroyship, the noble and wealthy Spanish families who settle in Lima built mansions very similar in architecture to the Arab-moresque style of spain
Among the custom of these inmigrants, it was considered inappropiate that their women go out of doors, that is the reason why the balconies, ladies of Lima´s high society to observe what ocurred in the street without having to go outside. But if women went outside street they must to hide or cover the face, "tapar" the face, so they call them "las tapadas"
Take the balconies tour, bacause has been declared that balconies were for Lima as was the Eiffel tower to Paris, the Statue of Liberty for New York and the Lions in Trafalgar Square for London
This is the main square in Lima, it's where in the 16th century Francisco Pizarro located the center of the city. The square has hosted some of the most important events in the history of the city, and you can find many important buildings in it, such as the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Cityhall, the Archbishop Palace and the Club de la Unión.
This pedestrian streets connects the Plaza de Armas and the Plaza San Martín. It used to be a very important and aristocrat street, nowadays it's mainly a shopping street, but you can find many interesting building while you walk along. Don't forget this is a very busy street in Lima, so be careful with your belongings while walking around... it should be ok, I was there in the night time and it didn't feel dangerous, but you should watch out just in case!
You don't really notice how pretty it is until you look back and notice the modern meets neoclassic arched glass ceiling. There's also a postage museum, but we didn't go in. The souvenier stands that line the back are a little different from the other ones around Plaza Mayor -- I got a kitschy pack of postcards showing traditional Peruvian fashions as 50's-esque illustrations.
Although the Archbishop's Palace has baroque elements and ornate cedar balconies which are located over the main doors - elements which might make you think it was old, it was really only constructed in the mid 1920s. It is next to the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima, and the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima.
It is listed as It is a popular tourist attraction but I don't know if it is open to the public. We didn't go in.
The first major church began construction in 1535. Pope Paul III turned it into an episcopal seat in 1541. In 1547, Lima was elevated to an archdiocese, which turned it by a short period, in the more extensive ecclesiastical circumscription of the world. The patron of the episcopal seat is Saint Rosa of Lima
Located on the land that Francisco Pizarro allocated to be the residence of the head priest of Lima after the foundation of the city in 1535, the current building was opened on December 8, 1924.
The palace was designed by the Polish Peruvian architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski. The location formerly belonged to the city's first police station and the city's first jail.
There is a granite sculpture of Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo the patron protector of the Archdiocese. The palace also displays two flagpoles, one for the Peruvian flag and another for flag of the Vatican. The interior has a sculpture of Santa Barbara the patron of Cuba. The ceiling is illuminated by famous French stained glass windows and the interior also contains marble staircases with wooden handrails.
Every morning after my breakfast i walked to Plaza Mayor. Every morning it was misty and it felt like it would begin to rain. It never did though. Around noon the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. Plaza Mayor is surrounded by beautiful and interesting buildings and is real heart of the city. Vendors come to you and try to sell their stuff but they are never too persistant. You tell them 'no' in firm tone and they leave you alone.
This very impressive building is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima, and holds the administration of the archdiocese. It's located in the Plaza de Armas, next to the Cathedral. Most impressive are the balconies which belong to the "neo-colonial" style, that was developed in the 20th century.
The main place of old Lima. Nowadays Lima is so big that there are a lot of other big "main places" of several districts of the "Municipalidad de Lima". Every district as for example Miraflores, Lince, San Isidro, Jesus Maria, Surco as as well Lima (also a district -the central district) etc has it´s own townhall and government.
Here around the main plaza de armas are placed the gigantic cathedral of Lima, the government building of the peruvian president and several other oficial buildings. Very special is the fact, that all the buildings around are painted in yellow....to have a contrast to the often grey sky. Also amazing are the wooden balkonies at some of the buildings around the plaza.
You can't go to LIma without going to Plaza de Armas (Mayor). Of course, every Peru's city and village have it's own Plaza de Armas but you can't miss this one: beautiful architecture and peaceful sector in the central of a very busy and noisy city.
The Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor) of Lima is a World Heritage Site, declared by UNESCO. Along its two sides, there are arcades with shops - Portal de Escribanos and Portal de Botoneros. The surrounding buildings are of lovely colonial architecture with wooden balconies and grilled ornate windows.
The Cathedral was reduced to rubble during an earthquake in the 1700s. This is a reconstruction with amazing silver-covered altars, fine woodwork, walls of intricate mosaic designs.
San Francisco, on the other hand, withstood the same earthquake. This monastery is famous for the tilework and ceiling in the cloisters. There are interesting catacombs under the church that can be visited.
There are many other buildings that visitors can admire. They include the Palacio Torre Tagle (Jr Ucayali 363), Casa Aliaga (Union 224), Casa de la Rada (Jr Ucayali 358), San Pedro (Jr Ucayali), etc...
Rio Rimac is the pretty-dry river that cuts through the centre. If you observe under the bridge, you may sometimes spot some young boys.
My host told me these are the 'piranhas'. They are the type of robbers who attack tourists, usually those who just arrived, tired, from a night bus, in droves of up to 20. They just attack the poor guy, slipping their hands into every pocket and crevice on the tourist, underneath the shirt, stripping the tourist of his backpack and carting the backpack off.
The Plaza Mayor was created by Fransisco Pizarro.
On the sides of the plaza are:
- The Presidential Palace
- The Cathedral
- The Archbishop´s Palace
- The Municipality building.
Some years ago the plaza and surrounding streets were filled with merchants, but they have now been prohibited to be there.
The two-storey balconies and galleries have no connection with local tradition and are purely arbitrary. But the plaza still conservs some of its charm from the past.
The fountain in the middle is from 1650.
The place has also been called Plaza de Armas.
This is the bridge 'Puente de Piedra' over the river Rimac.
Water supply to the city is taken out from the river many miles east of the city. (see some notations in connection with Huachipa in my Peru page)
It is low water in the river when taking this picture.
I would not necessarily describe this as a must see activity, but close to the Presidential Palace is this statue of Francisco Pizzaro, the Spaniard who conquered the Inca empire. I find it interesting that they have a statue to honor this man, when in reality, Lima and the country of Peru was better off under the Inca Empire than it is now.
The XVI Century Plaza de Armas is probably the best place to start your visit to Lima.
There you will find the Cathedral and the Archbishop´s Palace next to each other, the Government Palace and many other beautiful colonial buildings that earned Lima´s historical city center the deserved title of Unesco World Heritage Site.