Known as the “City of Kings” by Francisco Pizzaro, Lima is a treasure box of history and archaeological sites. This city also sees the hustle bustle of downtown Lima as well as peaceful walk around the towns. Let’s see the must-visit places of Lima.
1. Plaza de Armas: This town square is a spot where the founder of Lima, discovered the city. This square was called Square of the Warriors. The bronze fountain placed in the center of the square is the only thing that hasn’t changed since the place was built. The whole square was reconstructed after an earthquake. The plaza de armas is surrounded by cathedrals, churches and palaces. The neighboring attractions at the plaza are Lima Cathedral, Government Palace, Jiron de la Union and the church of La Merced.
2. San Francisco Monastery: The monastery is famous for its catacombs which hold bones of more than thousands of bodies. The highlight of the San Francisco Monastery is a piece of art that is placed in the center of the ground; which is a huge circle arranged geometrically with bones and skulls. The sounds that echoes when a mass takes place upstairs, one can feel eerie. So people with heart issues and claustrophobia must avoid visiting. The upper level of the monastery is full of antiques and books.
3. Museums of Lima: Lima is wealthy by being home to most of the historical museums of Peru. The national museum of archaeology, anthropology and history lets one explore the history and pre-historic era of Peru. Tombs, stone carvings, burials, metal work, tapestries and mummies are a part of this museum. However if you wish to explore the history of Peru, visit the National Museum that is the largest museum of Lima. Impressive array of ceramics and textiles are on display. One can also find re-created models of Machu Picchu and Nazca lines. Then there is the Larco Museum that has a collection of more than forty thousand ceramics; of which very little is on display. Most of the display holds collections from Moche and Chimu civilization.
4. Historic Mansions: Lima is also famous for preserving the old and ancient colonial mansions. Though most of them are now in a miserable state of repair. Aliaga’s house is the best example of such mansion. It was built on the ruins of an old temple. Palacio Torre Tagle is another mansion that now holds activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Its exterior is light red and has wooden carvings on the front which gives the place a perfect colonial look. If one enjoys wooden architecture with old-look balconies that formed a square, Casa de Pilatos is a great place to visit. And the last Casa de Oqenda is a beautiful mansion with watch tower to it.
5. Barranco: A lovely district to visit as one heads south along the coast of Miraflores. It has been home to Peruvian artists and writers. It is the bohemian capital of Lima having many bars, restaurants, live music and music concerts. The place is good for a stroll around colorful houses, stylized restaurants and 18th century architecture.
Lima is a mix of culture, history and modern life of Peru. It must be one of the places to add to your bucket list.