The palace of the archbishop in Lima

The most important ecclesiastical institution in Lima

  • Palace of the Archbishop

    El palacio del arzobispo en lima.

On the east side of the Plaza Mayor is one of the most important buildings in Lima: the cathedral. Right next door, almost fused with him, is the palace of the Archbishop. The cathedral belongs as an institution to the oldest Limas, it is said that the founder of the city, Francisco Pizarro, brought on January 18, 1535 the first stone on his shoulders.

A symbolic act, because not only Catholicism in Peru was consolidated with a physical building, but also established the main square as an ideal center of the city – in the same year, the construction of the government palace, other important buildings followed .

Lima was raised in 1541 in the archbishopric. The first episcopal palace, however, was not in the church, but at the other end of the Plaza Mayor. Next to the church were located a police station and the first jail in the city.

The current building of the archiepiscopal palace dates from 1924. The construction reveals the efforts to make the historic center of Lima look architecturally homogeneous. This homogeneity is expressed in the fact that the buildings combine several period styles. The reason for this are the earthquakes that have afflicted Lima since its foundation. The damaged buildings were restored in the style of each moment. The Archbishop’s Palace, although more recent, intentionally continues this tradition, if you can call it that.

The neo-colonial façade of the Episcopal Palace

The facade of the Episcopal Palace, unlike the cathedral, is made of granite. He stands out clearly from this. The massive granite wall is broken by several style elements. Two rows of windows with ornate borders are found above and below wooden balconies typical of the architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The tradition of the affluent society of installing a wooden porch in the house, from where the inhabitants could see the bustle of the street protected from prying eyes and the climate, originally came from the Moors, came to Andalusia and then to Peru.

The balconies of the Archbishop’s Palace are among the most interesting in Lima, with their elaborate carvings and filigree grills. They are flanked by striking baroque portals that rise above the entrances. So you can see how the archbishop’s palace has several elements that make it a perfect fit with the environment.

The interior: Episcopal offices and museum

If you are interested in more than just the outer appearance of the bishop’s palace, a visit to the museum in the palace is recommended. The rooms of the palace are decorated with baroque ornaments. Wide marble staircases lead from the entrance hall to the upper floor to a chapel with a gold-decorated altar.

The staircase and the upper floor are illuminated by day through a stained-glass window in the ceiling. The museum also has an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and liturgical vestments. The individual rooms, which the bishop uses in part to exercise his office, are decorated with antique furniture from different eras. As you will see in your visit, the palace is not only a testimony of Lima’s past, but also reflects the status of Bishop of Lima.