Suspiro Limeño

Museo Larco in Lima, Peru.,
Lima was founded on January 18th, 1535 by Francisco Pizarro-who called it "Ciudad de los Reyes" (City of the Kings)-and it became the capital of the viceroyalty of Perú, and an important port and communication route between the Old World and the New World.  Lima today is a bustling capital city with a vibrant night life, a delicious gastronomic tradition, a rich collection of museums, exuberantly beautiful churches, and a complex and extensive history, too extensive to detail in this blog.  I will limit myself to list my favorite sights of Lima, in no particular order. Enjoy:
1. Lima's Colonial Balconies bring a touch of Mudejar to its Baroque urban fabric; more than a decorative element, the balconies have provided, since colonial times, a discreet vantage point from which to partake in the comings and goings of the city.
The Bishop's Palace in Lima, Peru.
Plaza de Armas of Lima, Peru.
2. Lima's Baroque churches have been destroyed by terrible earthquakes and rebuilt through the centuries, they represent both the changing styles and the continuity of the Spanish architectural tradition.

Basilica Cathedral of Lima, Peru.
Monastery of San Francisco
Iglesia de la Merced in Lima, Peru.

3. Lima's Cathedral is the crowning architectural achievement of the city and it houses, under its wooden (anti seismic) vaults, an invaluable artistic treasure:

The Cathedral of Lima, Peru.

4. The Baroque altars of the Cathedral are carved in wood imported from Nicaragua.  As I admired their intricate beauty, I also wondered if the fragrant cedar was carved by some of the thousands of Nicaraguan natives that were forcibly exported to Peru during the colony.

Baroque altar at the Cathedral of Lima, Peru.

5. The 18th century "sillería" of the Cathedral's Choir is the work of Pedro de Noguera; the intricacy and beauty of its carving would rival any Spanish model.

The Choir at the Cathedral of Lima, Peru.

6. The Archbishop's Palace provides a journey back in time with its collection of beautifully decorated period rooms.

The Archbishop's palace of Lima, Peru.

The Archbishop's palace of Lima, Peru.

The Archbishop's palace in Lima, Peru.

7. The "Escuela Cuzqueña" religious Art at the Archbishop's Palace.  The "Escuela Cuzqueña" (Cuzco School), was arguably the most important art style in the colonial Americas and represents the confluence of two powerful artistic traditions: the Spanish and the Inca.

Religious art at the Archbishop's palace in Lima, Peru.

8. Lima's busy streets, denote a living, breathing capital city which, though visitor friendly, does not yield its essence to the tourism machine.
Historic Center of Lima, Peru.

Historic center of Lima, Peru.

9. The Inca gold and silver at the Museo Larco filled me admiration for the accomplishments of this great civilization and sadness at the knowledge of all that was lost in the process of colonization.

Gold at the Museo Larco of Lima, Peru.

Gold at the Museo Larco in Lima, Peru.

10. Peruvian gastronomy has been recently declared by UNESCO and the OAS as "Cultural Patrimony of Humanity" and "Cultural Heritage of the Americas" respectively.

Ceviche, causas, anticuchos, tamales, and potato cake accompanied by Pisco Sour and Maracuyá juice.
Suspiro Limeño (Sighs of Lima), a delicious dessert.

All images by Nadia Palacios Lauterbach and John Lauterbach.  For more pictures of Lima visit Dear Polia's Album on Facebook


Guillermo J. Alfaro said...

I can't believe the Cathedral's vaults are wooden. I wish that would have been developed in El Salvador, guatemala, and all the other colonies built in earthquake zones. That would have salvaged many structures, but I guess it also depends on the availability of materials and local construction methods and traditions. Love the images.

Guillermo J. Alfaro said...

I love those wooden vaults in the Cathedral. I wish other colonies in earthquakles zones found throughout Central and South America would have employed/developed this construction method/tradition. It would have salvaged thousands of now-lost historic structures. the images are fantastic!

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