The Casa de Aliaga: home for seventeen generations

The colonial history of Lima officially began in 1535, when Francisco Pizarro founded the city, declared that the Plaza Mayor was the main square and placed the first stone of the cathedral on the same day. Anyone who founds a city and a ruler in a city can also grant land. An example that still exists is the Casa de Aliaga. In the year of foundation of 1535, Pizarro gave his deserving defender Don Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of the first settlers in Lima, a piece of land next to the palace, which he himself built and is now the palace of government in the Main Square. The house was built in the same year and is located, as well as the Government Palace, on the remains of a Huaca, a Taulichusco sanctuary, the chief who ruled the Rimac Valley before the arrival of the Spaniards. Thus, Casa de Aliaga is as old as the city of Lima itself, and it is said to be the oldest house in South America, still inhabited by the family that once built it. The Aliagas have lived there for 17 generations. For centuries, it has been damaged and renovated several times during earthquakes, resulting in a mixture of different architectural styles.

Architectural features

From the outside, the grandeur of the house is not immediately recognizable, as it is embedded in a row of houses, on the ground floor there are snacks and small shops. The old wooden balconies, however, are a sign of the wealth of the family. The interiors are decorated with colonial style furniture, with Spanish tiles that adorn the walls. From the entrance hall, a marble staircase with wooden balustrade leads upstairs. Under the collection of colonial art are numerous paintings, statues and the sword of Jerónimo de Aliagas, which led him to the conquest of Peru. The small patio is carefully decorated and has a wrought iron fountain.

Opening hours and guided tours at Casa de Aliaga

The Casa de Aliaga is now a private museum of the family, which lives in a modern extension. The house is open every day for visitors from 09:30 to 17:00. The entrance fee is 30 soles. The visit must be booked in advance on the museum’s website. In addition, where to find an official guide, without which the visit is not possible, can be found on the website. Donnerstgs offers a special offer from the museum: a lunch cooked by the owner Jerónimo de Aliaga. It’s not cheap, but you rarely enjoy dining in an old mansion with excellent food. The house is not far from the center of the old city. It can be reached on foot or by bus to the Jirón de la Unión stop.

Address: Jiron de la Union
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La Casa de Aliaga

Sights in Lima