Located principally in the city centre or Cercado de Lima and Rímac areas, the Historic Centre of Lima is among the most important tourist destinations in Peru. The city of Lima, the capital of Peru, was founded by Francisco Pizarro on 18 January 1535 and given the name City of the Kings. Nevertheless, with time its original name persisted, which may come from one of two sources: Either the Aymara language lima-limaq (meaning "yellow flower"), or the Spanish pronunciation of the Quechuan word rimaq (meaning "talker", and actually written and pronounced limaq in the nearby Quechua I languages).
It is worth noting that the same Quechuan word is also the source of the name given to the river that feeds the city, the Rimac river (pronounced as in the politically dominant Quechua II languages, with an "r" instead of an "l"). Early maps of Peru show the two names displayed jointly. In 1988, UNESCO declared the historic center of Lima a World Heritage Site for its originality and high concentration of historic monuments constructed in the time of Spanish presence.
Balconies of Lima
Of the structures in the historical center of Lima, situated are more than 1,600 balconies that were built in the viceroyalty era as well as in the republic. In order to retain its conservation, the Municipality of Lima has invited individuals and companies to adopt a balcony in order to maintain them as if they were new. The abundance of these balconies adds to the particular harmony and originality to this part of the city.
The Archbishop Palace is the home of the Archbishop of Lima. It is a popular tourist attraction in the Historical centre of Lima, Peru. 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.
Museum Of Italian Art
The Museum of Italian Art is the only European arts museum of Peru. It has a wide collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and ceramics that belong to Italian artists from the beginnings of the 20th century, as well as a collection of 35 contemporary Italian paintings.
House of Aliaga
This house was constructed in 1535 on a pre-Columbian sanctuary. It was constructed on the date, that is shared with that of the foundation of the city, it has been inhabited permanently by the descendants of the first proprietor, Jerónimo de Aliaga, standard-bearer and exchequer for Francisco Pizarro. This home is the oldest mansion of the city and faces the Government Palace, former seat of Pizarro's rule, in a lateral street.
Riva Agüero House
This house was constructed in the 18th century by the Riva Agüero family, whose last member, the intellectual José de la Riva-Agüero, donated it to the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. At the present time Agüero is used like headquarters of the Riva Institute, conserving an interesting historical file and a library being simultaneously used by the local Museum of Popular Art of the PUCP.
Construction was begun on the Cathedral Of Lima in 1535—the same year the city was founded. The Cathedral of Lima displays architecture typical of the Spanish colonial era. The pews of the cathedral are of the finest quality as well are the of the benches of the choir. The Greater Altar is gold plated and has images of the colonial era. Within the cathedral are the ashes of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima.
Basilica and Convent of San Francisco
This architectonic complex was constructed in the 17th century and is made up by the church and the convent of San Francisco, as well as of the chapels of the Solitude and the Miracle. During your visit their claustros can be appreciated, their patios adorned with Sevillian tiles and the library. Here it is the headquarters of the Museum of Religious Art and the Zurbarán Room. Under this complex there is a network of underground galleries and catacombs that were a cemetery at the colonial time and which are also very much visited.
The Church of Merced was constructed in the 18th century with a churrigueresco style; appreciating it as much external as internally, the visitor occurs an idea of the splendor of the architecture of the time. In this church, full of works of art there is an emphasis on the greater altar in honor to the Virgin of Mercedes and one sacristía with arabesque tiles. Here it is possible to see one of the decks of collections of paintings and colonial statures of the city. The Virgin of the Mercedes is the patron of the Arms of the nation.
House of Oidor
In this house, one of oldest of the city, lived the Oidor, that was named by the Spanish monarchy to act in the colonial administration. The Oidor had by functions to cross the administered territory to control its government. In this sense, it advised to the viceroy as a consultant.
House of Pilatos
This is one of the oldest houses of Lima, constructed in 1590 by a Jesuit priest called Luis Opening. The name of this large house was given by the Spaniards who arrived and stated the similarity of the house with one in Seville.
This is one of the most outstanding houses of the historical center, constructed in the middle of the 18th century with French influence. One is in its original state with its balconies a typical characteristic of colonial Lima.
Sanctuary and Monastery of Las Nazarenas