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Lima

Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Lima - ideas on city exploration routes

Plaza San Martin, Lima Cathedral of Lima, Government Palace, Justice Palace, and National Stadium are the architectural landmarks, the names of which always remind you the words 'Lima' and 'Peru'. And this is natural, since these prominent landmarks are the ones that shape the historical and architectural look of Lima. Let’s look at these landmarks from high above, namely, from a bird’s eye view – click the video and make a flight over the architectural ensemble of Lima. In the main article, you can also read the most interesting facts about every famous landmark of Lima.

Cathedral of Lima, Lima

» The Cathedral of Lima is a very picturesque building decorated with statues and stone elements. The cathedral looks very spectacular at night when it is illuminated from all angles.
» Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador and founder of the city, started the construction of the first Catholic church in 1535.
» Over the centuries, it had been destroyed by earthquakes and rebuilt many times. That is why the exterior of the church combines different architectural styles.
» In 1797, two bell towers were built near the cathedral.
» When the church was last restored, old paintings that are displayed today were found. There is also the grave of Francisco Pizarro.
» In 1921, the church gained the status of a basilica. The cathedral was visited by Pope twice, in 1985 and 1988.

Government Palace, Lima

» Casa de Pizarro is the residence of the President of Peru. The first palace was built in 1535 by the first governor Francisco Pizarro, on the spacious Indian cemetery.
» The palace was destroyed by an earthquake in 1586. A new building was destroyed by a fire.
» The last reconstruction was started in 1937. The palace was built by a Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski. In the courtyard of the residence, there is a garden. As the legend says, there is a tree planted by Francisco Pizarro.
» In the palace, halls and rooms have different names and are dedicated to persons who made their mark on Peruvian history.
» Interiors of halls match their names. The Sevillian Patio features tiles made in Seville. Everything in the Golden Hall is covered with gold leaf. Ambassadors are solemnly hosted here. Beneath this hall, the Temple of the Incas was found during archeological excavations. The room of Admiral Miguel Grau, a naval hero, is decorated with picturesque paintings.
» Every day at 12 o’clock, you can see the changing of the President Guards that protect the residence of the President.

Justice Palace, Lima

» The Palace of Justice in Lima is the seat of the Supreme Court. This building started to be built upon the order of President Augusto B. Leguia in 1929.
» The Palace was completed in 1939 under the presidency of Oscar R. Benavides.
» The project of the building was developed by a Polish architect Bruno Paprocki.
» At that time, a bronze medal with the Justice Palace was made.
» Nowadays, it is the seat of the Supreme court with a basement archive and pre-trial chambers for suspects.

National Stadium, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Estadio Nacional was built on the site of an old sports facility that had existed since 1897. The need for a new stadium arose because of the 1953 South American Championship.
» This is the third-largest stadium in Peru in terms of capacity. Initially, there were 48,000 seats for spectators.
» In 1964, a major brawl occurred at the stadium during a match with Argentina. As a result, 318 people were killed.
» After the reconstruction of 2011, the stadium’s capacity was increased to 50,000 seats, VIP boxes and an underground parking lot were added, and a tower with a restaurant was built.
» It is planned to increase the number of seats to 60,000 in order to host the 2019 Pan American Games.
» The Estadio Nacional is often used as a concert venue. Phil Collins, Deep Purple, Justin Bieber, Marc Anthony, Boy George, and other world-famous artists performed here.

Church of San Sebastian, Lima

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Facts: » The wooden Church of San Sebastian was built in the middle of the 17th century. In 1651, it was destroyed by fire. Soon, it was rebuilt of brick. Natural disasters destroyed the church again.
»  In 1880, a steel structure was made to order in Belgium. Then, 52 tons of parts were shipped to the island. Stained glass windows were made by German masters. Six fonts were made of Romblon marble.
»  The main value of the church is the statue of the Virgin. It was gifted by Mexican nuns in 1617. In 1975, the head of the Virgin was stolen.
»  The church is a rectangular construction built in the New Gothic style. It has steeple roofed towers. They are situated on both sides of the central entrance.
»  The main portal is decorated with a big round window with a blossoming flower. Doorways are arched here.
»  Iron columns of different heights are marble. The walls seem to be made of stone. The ceiling is covered with colorful stones too.
»  In the church, there are chandeliers and several tiers. The decorated altar symbolizes the power of the Catholic Church.
»  There are no similar metal churches in the world.

Cross at Mount St. Christopher, Lima

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Facts: » In the north-east of Santiago, there is San Cristobal Hill. Its first name is Tupahue, which is translated is “Mount of God”.
»  The hill gained its second name after the Spanish and Chilean San Cristobal family. Its peak at a height of 300 m has a view of central quarters of Santiago and the snowy Andes.
»  For many years, the Incas had thought that the hill was sacred.
»  In the late 15th and 16th centuries, in the epoch of Spanish conquistadors, the hill was named San Cristobal after saint martyr Christopher revered by Catholic and Orthodox Churches. He patronizes travelers.
»  Visitors put candles and notes with wishes on the foundation of the cross. The hill is crowned by a historical monument, the cross of St. Christopher. It was placed by Pizarro who was the conqueror of the Incas’ empire and founded the city of Lima.
»  There is an observation platform around the monument. At its foot, there is Santiago Metropolitan, the biggest artificial park in the city.
»  You can reach the peak on foot, by tram, or by taxi. In Bellavista, there is a funicular station. You can also reach the top by funicular.

Plaza Dos de Mayo, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Plaza Dos de Mayo is located in Lima, Peru, on the border between Alfonso Ugarte and Colmena avenues.
»  The May 2nd Square was built to commemorate the feat of soldiers at the Callao seaport in 1866. At that time, a lot of Peruvians struggled against Spanish Armada.
»  In the square, there is a monument dedicated to the victory on 2nd May. This struggle took place when there was a war between Spain and South America.
»  The construction of the May 2nd Square was started when Mariano Ignacio Prado ruled for the first time. A few days after the fight on 2nd May 1866, the government ordered to place a monument to commemorate this struggle in a place called Ovalo de la Reina in the colonial period.
»  Before the construction, a public tender was organized. As a result, the marble and bronze monument consists of four statues symbolizing four countries uniting against Spain: Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador.

Plaza de toros de Acho, Lima

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Facts: » The Plaza de toros de Acho is the oldest bullring in America. It was built in 1768.
» Here, bull fights are held. Bullfighters from all the countries of Latin American come here.
» Over the years of its existence, it was restored several times: in 1865, in 1944, and in 1961. Initially, the arena was octagonal. It has been recently extended and is round now. Its full capacity is 13 000 spectators.
» In October and November, the annual Señor de los Milagros festival takes place. Famous toreros participate in it.
» At the entrance of the arena, there is the Bull Fighting Museum that is visited by fans of corridas.
» In 1991, the Plaza de toros de Acho was recognized as a historical monument. In 1991, it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Church of Our Lady of Mercy, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is designed in the baroque style. It is one of the constructions built in the style called Churrigueresque.
»  The church was built on the initiative of monk Miguel de Orenes in 1535. It was dedicated to Archangel Michael. The Church of Our Lady of Mercy patronizes the Peruvian Armed Forces.
»  The church is located in the historical center of Lima, on the border between the sixth quarter Jirón de la Unión and the first quarter Jirón Antonio Miró Quesada.
»  The interior of the church features different stylistic elements and is decorated with sculptures and paintings of Wikongo culture
»  The altar in the church is not so decorated, as other relics kept here. However, it is gilded completely.
»  In the central part of the church, you can see the picture of Our Lady of Mercy who was considered as the heavenly patroness of the city. In 1730, Cabildo called her the Infinite Patroness of the Fields of Lima. These fields were fruitless at that time. In the period of the Republic, she was recognized as the patroness of the country by the Founding Congress of Peru in 1823.

Monastery of San Francisco, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Monastery of San Francisco is a building complex that includes a monastery, the Miracle Tower, and the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin. This magnificent complex is registered on the list of world heritage of UNESCO.
» In 1535, the citizens of the new city of Lima built a small chapel at the site of the monastery. In 1546, a monastery and a small church were constructed.
» The construction of a magnificent monastery complex lasted for a century.
» In 1655, the strong earthquake destroyed the building and hamstrung all the community’s efforts.
» The Portugal architect hired by the church staff raised a cathedral from the ruins in 1672. The reconstruction lasted until 1729.
» The monastery received a lot of precious artifacts and pieces of art. The main value of the monastery is its bug library that houses 25 000 books, including rare editions of the 15th century.
» Under the monastery, there are ancient catacombs where the people of Lima had been buried until 1808.

Church of St. Peter, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » «Iglesia de San Pedro» is the Spanish name of the Church of St. Peter in Lima. It had been named San Pablo before.
»  The church started to be built upon the order of the Jesuits from Peru.
»  The construction was completed in 1638.
»  Now, the Church of St. Peter belongs to the Jesuits.
»  It is a part of the Archdiocese and the historical center of Lima. In 1991, the church was also registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
»  In the church, the Sacred Heart of Jesus is especially revered.
»  The viceroy of Peru Ambrosio O'Higgins was among people who were buried in the Church of St. Peter.
»  The facade of the building is neoclassical. According to the project, the interior imitates the main architectural monument of the Jesuits in Rome, the Church of the Gesu.
»  Behind the altars of the church, there are rooms decorated with baroque ornaments.
»  A lot of its artifacts were presented by aristocrats. So, the most interesting thing in the church is its collection of relics.

Convent of Santo Domingo, Lima

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Convent of Santo Domingo was founded during the reign of the first governor Francisco Pizarro who gifted the land to a monk participating in aggressive military campaigns.
» The construction was started in 1540.
» The church built in the territory of the monastery is truly Peruvian. There are ashes of three famous canonized and revered Peruvian saints, St. Rose of Lima, St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639), and St. John Macias (1585-1645).
» One of them, Martin de Porres, was a dark-skinned illegitimate church novice who was let into the brotherhood for his deeds.
» The church is crowned by a domed bell tower with the statue of an angel that holds a pipe for proclaiming the last Judgment.
» In the monastery, the National University of San Marcos was founded in 1551. It is the oldest university in South America.
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