On January 18, 1535, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city of Lima. As one of his first acts, he established the main square, the Plaza Mayor, and founded the cathedral, whose first stone was carried by himself. The Plaza Mayor remains one of the most important and popular places in the city. The most important buildings were erected around the square, including the City Palace, seat of the city administration, which is located on the northwest side. And like many historic buildings, the Municipal Palace, as it is called, has a turbulent history behind it.
Always new – the architectural history of the Palacio Municipal
Although the origins of the Municipal Palace date back to the 16th century, today’s building dates back to 1944. It is typical of the tragic history of the buildings at the time of the foundation. Because Peru is a country that regularly suffers from earthquakes. The buildings are destroyed and rebuilt, giving them a new face over and over again. What you can see today is often based on past architectural styles and mixes of styles.
Shortly after the founding of the city, the city administration quickly sought a place, a building was hastily built, which, however, did not last long. Over time, several constructions were tried until the city’s palace found its current form: a yellow, neoclassical façade adorned with elements from the colonial era, the wooden balconies. These additions of wood were a sign of wealth in the colonial period and should allow the inhabitants of a house a view of the street protected from wind and weather. Actually, the previous versions of the city palace did not have these balconies, they were made only in the last building. An element of style that has been preserved are the galleries behind the arches, which give the building a feeling of lightness and openness.
The Palacio Municipal and its institutions
The palace is still the seat of the city administration. The reception room and the Hall of Mirrors with their Rococo watches and chandeliers are also accessible to visitors as part of a tour. However, the rooms, decorated in the style of the French Renaissance and the colonial model, also contain a library that contains, among other things, original documents such as the Charter of the Lima Foundation and the Declaration of Independence, and an art gallery . which contains around 600 works by Peruvian artists of the last two Presented for centuries. The gallery also has an old Roman column attributed to the palace of Nero. In separate rooms there is a restoration workshop. The excursion to the Municipal Palace is a trip to the past and present of Lima, history, architecture and art.