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Downtown Historic Lima, Peru

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Downtown Historic Lima, Peru

Lima is a beautiful city. Lots of history yet very modern. Naturally, as tourists, we headed to the historic downtown area where there was just way too much to see and learn about but they offer free walking tours. Yes, free, though there is this expectation to tip the tour guide.

One of the first sites you learn about it the Cathedral Basilica of Lima. Construction began in 1535 and completed in 1649. It is dedicated to St John, Apostle and Evangelist.

The tour starts in Plaza de Armas, the central square. It’s surrounded by all these buildings with pretty cool architecture and some history.

Nearly every city and town in Peru has a central square known as the ‘Plaza de Armas’ and Lima is no different. This colourful main square was the foundation of the ‘City of the kings’ in 1535 and was Lima’s first public square. It was where Peru was declared a Republic in 1821.

Presidential Palace

The Casa de Correos y Telegrafos (Post and Telegraphs office) is the central post office of the city of Lima, Peru. The building is located in the Historic center of Lima near the Plaza Mayor. The building was constructed in 1897 in a French architectural style. Additionally, the building houses the National Postal and Philatelic Museum. Besides displaying exhibits relating to postal service, the museum showcases exhibits relating to Limean history. The building is located along Piura street and its interior is lined with shops. Its facade contains a clock, and a bronze lion depicted with its snout open and devouring correspondence.

Next up was the Basilica and Maximus Convent of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, popularly known as that of Santo Domingo, located in the city of Lima, Lima Region, capital of Peru.

An architectural set of religious buildings under the invocation to Our Lady of the Rosary and is located at the intersection of the first block of the Jirón Camaná (Calle Pescante) with the second block of Jirón Conde de Superunda (Calle Veracruz), in the historic center of Lima. The historic chapter house of the Basilica of Santo Domingo was the place where the University of San Marcos, officially the first Peruvian university and the oldest university in the Americas, began to function in the 16th century.

It’s always unfortunate when you do a walking tour and the information shared is so dense, so rich and so much that you just can’t remember it all. Just saying.

Rímac River – not the cleanest looking river.
Casa de la Literatura Peruana

Finally, we were ready to eat. We asked around and were referred to a restaurant called La Muralla which means The Wall. During the 17th century the heart of Lima was ringed by a muralla (city wall), much of which was torn down in the 1870s as the city expanded. You can still view a set of excavated remains at the Parque de la Muralla, where, in addition to the wall, a small on-site museum (with erratic hours) details the development of the city and holds a few objects. As well as the restaurant.

The monument of Francisco Pizarro (1470/71 – 1541) in Lima is the work of the American sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey (1879 – 1922). In 1913 Rumsey received an invitation to contribute a large equestrian statue of Pizarro to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915.

This is one of Lima’s main tourist attractions and besides Lima’s Cathedral is one of the most important examples of colonial architecture in Peru. Visits are by guided tour only and are well worth it to gain an insight into religious life and culture during the Spanish colonial rule. Highlights include the library with over 25,000 volumes, intricate wooden carvings and the austere colonial paintings found throughout.

We didn’t go inside the Church & Convent of San Francisco, but the main draw for most tourists is the catacombs where over 30,000 people were buried until 1808. The catacombs were only discovered in 1943 and it’s said to be eerie to wander through the silent, claustrophobic crypts filled with human skulls and remains.

Chocolate Museum

Najwa’s middle name is Mi Museo, a combination of part of both her grandmothers’ names. Museo, though, in Spanish, means museum.

As pleasant as everything was, there was obviously something going on. There were these cops posted through the plazas, mostly near the Presidential Palace, fully prepared for whatever was or was not going to pop off. We saw some gathering of people protesting, but overall nothing happened. Apparently Peru is having a leadership crisis.

One thing we didn’t see a lot of are Black people. Well, until we did.

More random photos of whatever.

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