The Museo Naval del Perú in Callao

  • Museo Naval del Perú

    The Museo Naval del Perú in Callao

The sea has always fascinated people. The great freedom, the wind, the vastness, all that has been attracting people for millennia. In addition to the everyday value that the sea has for the population, it is also the scene of important battles. The Naval Museum in Callao shows the history of the Peruvian navy and the ancient cultures of Peru. Which place could be more suitable for such a museum than the port city in the west of Lima? Overall, the museum is interesting for anyone interested in the history of Peru. In addition, the museum with the maritime theme stands out clearly from the museum landscape in Lima. So you are welcome to immerse yourself in the world of water in Peru.

The pre-Hispanic nautical and fishery culture

Already the cultures settled before the arrival of the Spaniards in Peru, were active in seafaring – both on the sea and on Lake Titicaca. Even today, the Urus on Lake Titicaca maintain this tradition: they live on Totora reed islands and also make their houses and boats from this material. A specimen of these reed boats can be found in the museum, also fishing utensils and information on the great cultures, whose era finally came to an end with the conquest by the Spaniards and the founding of the new capital Lima in 1535. Because this part of the story took so long and is still important today, a room is integrated into the museum, showing the importance of the sea for Peru.

Peru after colonization

The colonization of Peru began not long after the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Therefore, this part of the story in the Naval Museum in Callao is not too short. The next and most extensive part of the exhibition is devoted to the history of the Peruvian Navy. This began with colonization.

The museum has housed this theme in different rooms. On the one hand, this is an armory containing the typical weapons of colonial sailors: sabers, pistols, cannons. The visitor also gets a good overview of past customs and clothing. Navigation instruments and models of ships from all over the world complete the collection.

Also very worth seeing are the figureheads, behind which in some cases a story hides. One of them was washed ashore, for example, years after the ship had sunk. An important part of Peruvian history is the saltpetre war. Here, the Navy was used to its full extent. Certificates of this provide u.a. personal belongings of war heroes. And of course, the collection should not miss paintings with nautical motifs and portraits of famous sailors. The museum is modern in style and has a number of multimedia installations on each theme. In addition, the Museo Naval del Perú has a library where you can read more specific facts in case of greater interest.