The Plaza de Armas, also referred to as the Plaza Mayor in Lima by foreigners, is the ideal center of the city of Lima, founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro. After all, this one here, on the edge of the square, laid the first stone of Lima Cathedral on the day the city was founded. The cathedral, together with the archbishop’s palace occupies the entire east side. The north side is bounded by the government palace. There is still the change of guard at noon an attraction for visitors. On the west side is the Palacio de la Unión (Palace of Unity) and the City Hall of Lima. In addition to the long-standing institutions, modernity has also found its way to the Plaza Mayor, for example in the form of a shopping center on the south side.
Plaza de Armas with many features
Not only the buildings around the square make it so famous. The Plaza de Armas is simply beautiful. The landscaped plantation of palm trees and flowers is criss-crossed by paths and benches. The place is the place to meet: walk, talk, sit down. Its history is not so innocent, after all, the place in the past was used for all the events that attracted a larger crowd: as a place of execution, for bullfights, and finally there in 1821 independence was declared from Peru. In the center there is a bronze fountain from 1651, Viceroy García Sarmiento had established. It is popular with people and pigeons alike as a meeting place.
The colonial architecture of Peru: a mix of different styles
The different architectural styles of the Plaza Mayor show how much the Spanish conquerors of Europe imported. An example of this is the wooden balconies that decorate the Bishop’s Palace and the Union Palace and are a characteristic element of Islamic culture, which spread to Spain and therefore to Peru. The balconies were installed to offer residents a better view of the streets in a glassed-in room, protected from sun and rain. At the same time, they were a decorative element in the building and, therefore, illustrated the financial circumstances of the owners.
Plaza Mayor Square is also a good place to see how the face of the old town changed over time due to the many earthquakes in Lima. The reconstruction work was often done in the style of the time, resulting in a colorful mixture of Renaissance, Spanish Baroque and Neoclassicism led.
Plaza de Armas Lima
Address: Jiron Junin, Lima Cercado