The tropical country of Peru offers a treat to travelers with its spectacular varying landscape and the mystical beauty of historic ruins. However, the heart of the country lies within the arid coastal region bounded by the largest and the deepest Pacific Ocean on one side, and the dramatic mountain ranges of the Andes on the other. The capital city of Peru, Lima which is home to about two-thirds of the country’s population has been manifested by varying transitions of culture and lifestyle, from the pre-Hispanic period to Spanish colonization and the contemporary era. This makes Lima a unique city with an amalgamation of various styles of architecture. Here are 15 places to visit in Lima for a traveling Architect-
1. Plaza Mayor
Also called “Plaza de Armas”, this is where the city of Lima originated back during the Spanish Colonization period. This historical center is today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a central fountain surrounded by buildings of historical importance and administration.
Views showcasing monumental structures surrounding the Plaza
2. Convento de San Francisco
The church and monastery famous for its baroque ornamentation are also renowned for their catacombs located below the church, built of brick and mortar with thousands of skulls and bones arranged in a geometric pattern. The church also features Mudejar art-Islamic art of the late medieval period, painted on vaults above the aisle and naïve region of the church.
Exterior and Interior views of the Church with a view of Catacomb below the Church.
3. Palacio Torre Tagle
Known for its notable façade, the colonial building was built during the 1700s in Spanish Baroque style having an ornamental door at the entrance with its frame carved in stone. Two balconies at the front carved out of wood are a feature unique to the place and can be found in other colonial buildings in Peru as well. These balconies act as a transition space between exterior and interior, forming a semi-public space that connects and allows visual connectivity to the streets from inside.
4. The Aliaga House
An oldest colonial mansion in Lima which was built during the 1500s has housed the Aliaga family (Descendants of the founder of Lima) for seventeen generations. The external façade features a wooden balcony, whereas the luxurious interiors display highly decorated wooden carved ornamental furniture, railings and doorframes.
5. Iglesia de Las Nazarenas
The church of religious importance and historic tale also displays a strong architectural character with a simple external façade and highly ornamental style of interiors with curves, asymmetry and the usage of white and pastel colors representing Rococo style of Architecture.
6. Museo de la Nacion (National Museum)
The city’s largest museum is a knowledge bank of the archeological data of Peru’s ancient culture and lifestyle. One can visit the museum to understand the progression of the urban built environment through various periods – Pre-Hispanic, Chavin culture, Huari civilization and Inca Period.
7. Cerro San Cristóbal
The 200 m high hill is part of the Andes mountain range and has a 20 m high monumental Latin cross structure of religious importance, made of concrete and iron. On the way to the hillcrest, the colorful homes along it merge with the mountain landscape. A spectacular view of the city along with the Pacific Ocean can be witnessed from the hilltop.
Lima’s arts district represents its Bohemian style of 19th and 20th-century architecture with vibrant streetscapes, mural walls and buildings that contrast with its surroundings. The smallest district in Lima is home to many artists, who flock here seeking inspiration at various cafes, galleries, theatres, etc. Barranco is a perfect example of how streets can be used as a public space with its main square dotted with fountains, statues, artworks, market places and street performers.
9. Park of Legends Zoo
The park’s unique feature successfully combines archeology and bio-diversity, with a showcase of the flora and fauna of Peru built on the ruins of the ancient city complex. The animals are placed in three sections which are inspired by the three different landscapes of Peru: Coastal, Mountains and Forest.
An open shopping center located at Miraflores district at Lima combines entertainment, fashion and gastronomy. The fact that it is placed at the edge of the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean makes it an exemplar commercial complex that has made the best use of the site context.
11. El Malecon
A part of the Miraflores district consisting of several parks linearly arranged, is located at the edge of the cliff and is sandwiched between the ocean on one side and high-rise modern buildings on the other. The landscape offers pathways for jogging, cycling and various social activities like yoga, sports, etc. It is a perfect place for paragliding where one can experience an aerial view of the city.
12. Huaca Pucllana
In the midst of the concrete jungle of modernized Peruvian buildings of Miraflores, lies a contrasting seven-tiered pyramidal structure which was once a building of importance acting as a ceremonial and administrative center. The adobe and clay brick structure has withstood thousands of years due to its earthy dry climate.
13. Park of the Reserve
Originally built during the late 1920s, the park upgraded in the year 2007 with the construction of the “Magical Circuit”, which is the largest fountain complex in the world comprising of 13 fountains. One can experience the neo-classical influence of landscape design with colorful fountains acting as focal points.
14. Plaza San Martín
The public square is surrounded by structures of grandeur with simplistic geometric forms, dramatic columns and blank walls- all elements of European Neoclassical Architecture. Street plays, festivals, exhibitions, music performances and various other activities make the place vibrant and active.
15. Larco Museum
This museum housed in a former mansion with a plain white exterior as a picturesque backdrop for vibrant flower gardens is known for its collection of textile, ceramic and other precious metal artifacts. The key feature of this museum is the access to its storage area where one can access artifacts that are not displayed.