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Summer in Peru - 2017

Lima - Peru #Day 2

It's my first full day in Lima, so after a hearty breakfast I am on a walking mission to see as much as I can today

My Hotel was located in San Martin Plaza which is a beautiful park established July 27, 1921 for the centenary of Peru's independence. The Plaza is Lima’s second most important public space, after Plaza de Armas.

San Martin Plaza - Lima

San Martin Plaza

Flowerbeds, lawn, benches made from marble and paving from granite, four water fountains and old style street lamps made this a very appealing park, then at night it was packed with Chileans who had finished work for the day.

Located in the park is a monument of General José de San Martín, the liberator who led Peru to victory during its struggle for independence from Spain. A competition was held and won by Spanish sculptor Mariano Benlliure who created this impressive monument. It's a wonderful sculpture of San Martin on his horse, whilst on the sides of the monument are bronze reliefs of San Martin during his voyage across the Andes.

José de San Martín - Lima

José de San Martín - Lima

Surrounding San Martin Plaza were many buildings, some in Neo-classical style, most a mix of Baroque with a lot of French influence.


When the Teatro Colon was built in 1914 as a luxurious Theatre, it pre-dated the construction of the plaza. Luxurious when first built, it was left to deteriorate, finally closing in 2003. Since then, the exterior has been refurbished and looks great, now the interior awaits refurbishment.

Giacoletti building
Located across the street and jammed between two streets is the Giacoletti building, built the same time as Teatro Colon. Both buildings were remodeled early in the 20th century so they would blend in better with the architectural style of the other buildings in the Plaza.

The Gran Hotel Bolivar was built next in 1924

In 1926, the Zela and Pumacahua arcades were built, the Club Nacional in 1929, then finally the rest was completed between 1935-1945 with the construction of the Cine Metro, Fénix, Boza, and Sudamérica buildings, built in the Neo-colonial style (similar to the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture).


Nearly all of these Baroque buildings are white, blending together beautifully to put the finishing touch to this stylish Plaza.

Carabaya street

Since I had finished exploring San Martin Plaza, I decided to walk south along Carabaya street to Plaza Grau, a park established in honor of the Pacific War hero and famous captain of the Navy - Admiral Miguel Grau.


Plaza Grau was re-modeled in 2010 after the construction of the Metropolitan Central Station. Its shape is a long rectangle with a paved centre piece where old style lamps and the heads of Naval heroes line either side. I wanted to sit down but every bench was in the sun and already the sun was quite hot. It was here I had a chat to one of the men in uniform who make sure the tourists come to no harm.

Where I entered the plaza was a beautiful building on the corner of Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt and Carabaya street known as Palace Rimac. Even though it is built in French "Beaux Arts" style of architecture, it wasn't a French architect who designed it, instead it was the design of Polish architect Ricardo de Jaxa Malachowski.
It was boom time in Lima when it was built between 1919 and 1924, it's easy to see no expense was spared as the facade includes arches and balconies, wreaths, medallions and other decorations, making me wonder how extravagant the interior was.
It was the first apartment building built in Lima.

Palace Rimac

Between the paved area and the road at Grau Plaza was the lawned area where I found some interesting sculptures of Lions, Panthers, Vultures, Llamas and a Peruvian man with Oxen.

large_IMG_2344.jpgLlamas @ Plaza Grau


Plaza Grau

When I'd reached the centre of Plaza Grau, I looked across the road to the formidable Palace of Justice, built in 1938 in neoclassical style, similar in design to the Justice Palace of Brussels.

Palace of Justice - Lima


Monument of Admiral Grau

Continuing along this long paved pathway, I finally came to the end where traffic was buzzing around a very busy 8 lane round-about of which the centre was another part of Plaza Grau, but how to reach it?
Too much traffic for me, and I knew I wouldn't be able to read the Spanish, so I zoomed in on the huge monument when there was a slight lull in the traffic.
The biggest monument was saved for the best, Miguel María Grau Seminario, hero of the Naval Battle of Angamos during the War of the Pacific.
I doubt if you would find many like him in war, for this man was known as the "Gentleman of the Seas" as he was kind and courteous even when dealing with the defeated enemies.

He is an iconic figure, one that is both respected and admired by both Peruvians and Chileans.

Policewoman controlling the traffic

Looking at this traffic and needing to cross the road made me head to the traffic lights where I could safely cross the road. The lights were on green but nobody was moving, then I saw why, a Police woman in a small hut in the centre of the road was busy directing the traffic with her hands and with a whistle which she played in some kind of tune. Everybody understood the whistle, so I followed the Peruvian pedestrians across the road, then went into Park Juana Alarco de Dammert, another well set out and maintained park with plenty of lawn, garden seats and greenery.

Juana Alarco de Dammert Park

In the park, I found a couple of statues, one of them of Juana Alarco de Dammert, after whom the park is named. She was known as the "Granny of children" as she spent her life helping, finding food and giving education to orphans from 7 to 12 years of age.

Juana Alarco de Dammert
Neptune Fountain

In the park was quite a large fountain with Neptune in the centre and lots of big fish heads where water would flow out their mouths, sadly, the fountain was dry

Museum of Italian Art - Lima

At one end of the park was the Museum of Italian Art located in a beautiful Neo-Renaissance building, decorated with two large mosaics on the exterior wall. These mosaics were given as a gift from the Italian community living in Peru to commemorate the centenary of independence in 1921.


When I walked to the other end of the park I found another building with attractive architecture, this was the Military History Study Centre. What a shame this nice building had been graffitied!

Military History Study Centre



In-front of the building was a bus stop for all size buses.

My original plan was to use these to get around, but when I saw how packed and busy they were I changed my mind.
I stood and watched bus after bus pull in, the tout yelling and hanging out the door as the bus pulled up.
People rushed to get off and rushed to get on, no mucking around here or you were left behind.
It was interesting to watch, as there is nothing like this in my home country.

Along Paseo Colon - Lima

With bus out of the question, it meant more walking for me on a hot day, though I did manage to buy some resfreshing cold pineapple and watermelon from road-side stalls, both went down well! I decided Plaza Bolognesi was as far as I was walking.

Paseo Colon was a busy main road, with a lawned median street, statues and a pathway in the centre. I walked along here admiring many buildings with distinctive architectural features, some had mosaics on their facades, others looked Moorish, I really was enjoying the mix of Lima architecture.

Along Paseo Colon - Lima

Along Paseo Colon- Lima

Plaza Bolognesi was actually the centre of another large roundabout, it too is named after a national hero, this time Colonel Francisco Bolognesi , who was in the battle of Arica during the War with Chile.

Colonel Bolognesi monument

This is not the original sculpture from 1905 of Colonel Bolognesi, that was controversial and was removed to the Historical Museum of the Real Felipe.
Why you may ask?

I guess most sculptures show people like this triumphant, but the original sculpture showed Bolognesi clutching a flagpole and with his head bowed, about to collapse after being beaten in battle.
People complained it didn't show him at his best - he looked drunk!
Eventually a new sculpture was commissioned and this is what I saw, not a man with his head bowed, but an obelisk with a bronze sculpture of a triumphant Colonel Bolognesi, with one hand raising the flag of Peru and the other with a revolver.
Peruvian sculptor Artemio Ocaña, used material from three tons of artillery shells to make the sculpture.


Around this Plaza most of the buildings had similar architectural patterns, a coat of fresh paint would have done wonders.

La Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima

Just around the corner in Avenue Brasil was La Basílica de María Auxiliadora de Lima, impressive on the outside with some great doors, unfortunately I couldn't visit the interior.IMG_2454.jpg270_IMG_2462.jpg


I didn't know how many kilometers I had walked, so I decided to head back along a different road, this happened to be a good choice as I came across this lovely building

270_IMG_2476.jpg 270_IMG_2477.jpg

Then a round-about with a monument in memory of Jorge Chávez , an Aviator who died when only 23 years old. This is the man the Lima International airport is named after and where I saw a life-sized replica of his famous Blériot XI monoplane.


Jorge Chávez Memorial- Lima

Continuing my walk, my next point of interest was Exhibition Park,, a park built especially to house the Lima International Exhibition of 1872. The Exhibition Palace, a huge building that is now the Lima's Museum of Art, was designed by Italian Antonio Leonardi and constructed in Neo-Renaissance style,

Museum of Art

I had arrived at lunch time, and lucky for me, there was a stall selling food and drinks in the park. I bought lunch and a Chicha Morado drink, a typical Peruvian non-alcoholic drink that was very popular with the Peruvians. The purple colour is because purple maize is boiled with chunks of pineapple, quinces, cinnamon and cloves in water until the maize is soft and the liquid has taken on the deep purple colour. My first taste and I liked it, in-fact I found it a very refreshing drink on a hot day, from then on I bought many Chicha Morados from roadside stalls.

Moorish Pavilion, Lima

Moorish Pavilion, Lima

After lunch, I wandered around the park to see some of the beautiful pavilions. One I really liked was the Moorish pavilion, then I walked a little further and found another beauty - the Byzantine Pavilion, both of these styles I never expected to find in Lima.

Byzantine Pavilion, Lima


Chinese Fountain - Lima
This park is huge, with lots of lawn, shade trees and gardens, one of them was the Japanese garden, unfortunately there wasn't any water running, so it wasn't very attractive. Nearby was the impressive Chinese fountain, a gift from the Chinese colony to mark the centenary of the Independence of Peru.


Many gifts were given from countries around the world for the centenary of Peru's independence in 1921, another I came across was a 30m high clock tower in University Park, where at 12 noon every day, it plays the Peruvian National Anthem.


There were more monuments in the park, this one is a marble statue of Bartolomé Herrera,
an important Peruvian personality.
Another nice park in Lima of which there are many!

Well, it was time to get moving and make my way back to the Hotel and I still had a bit of distance to cover.


Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

On one side of University park is the Casona of the National University of San Marcos, a recognized historic building
Adjoining it was what looked to be a church, but there was a guard out the front and it was fenced. Not sure if I could go inside, I tried asking the guard but was lost in translation, at least he waved me inside with his rifle.

Inside I paid a small fee and was told the building originally belonged to the Jesuits, then in 1876 it became the chapel of the National University of San Marcos .


Pantheon of the Proceres-
In 1924, the remains of several heroes of the wars of independence (1821-1824) were transferred to the crypt under the altar, at that time the name was changed to the "Pantheon of the Proceres."


Altar @ Pantheon of the Proceres Lima

Today there are 24 remains and 41 effigies.

Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

Immediately after entering, I walked past the busts of many famous Peruvians, then past a beautiful wooden pulpit with lots of marvelous carvings and onto the eternal flame and the amazing wooden Altar with so many detailed carvings.
Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

Downstairs, where the tombs were, the centre of the ceiling was round and open, surrounded by a blue mosaic mural. I found when I was in different positions and looking upwards, I could see the Altar, the Pulpit and other parts of upstairs - Very clever!

Pantheon of the Proceres - Lima

La Iglesia de los Huérfanos de Lima.
When I walked outside, I spotted a church located across the park painted pink, this was La Iglesia de los Huérfanos de Lima. The outside was lovely and the inside was better still, only I couldn't take photos as a service was being held.

Finally I was on the homeward stretch and this is where I saw these men moving house, a bit different to home!

Moving house


Posted by balhannahrise 15:08 Archived in Peru Tagged churches buildings museums parks architecture monuments lima historic wallking

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Love those sculptures. Great photos.

by irenevt

Wow, you packed a lot into your day! So many lovely buildings. I especially like the doors of the basilica (a shame it was closed) and the pulpit in the Pantheon.

by ToonSarah

You saw a lot of lovely plazas and buildings along your long walk. I have only spent five hours around Plaza de Armas between flights, but I am happy that I will soon get the chance to see more of Lima.
Yes, taking a bus in some countries can really be different than at home :)

by MalenaN

Thanks Irene! I loved the sculptures too.

by balhannahrise

I start early Sarah, usually around 8am. Lots of what I saw was close together making it easy. I only struck a couple of churches I couldn't enter, sadly the Basilica was one. I liked those doors too.
The Pulpit and Altar were wonderful!

by balhannahrise

Malena, Lots and lots of nice Plazas. How many days will you be there this time.
I loved the architecture there, quite a mix. I didn't even get to Miraflores, needed more time for there, and I would have liked to explore many more streets in the historic centre.

by balhannahrise

I will stay in Lima one day before flying to Cusco, and then I think I will stay another 1.5 days before flying home. For the first two nights in Peru I have booked a hotel in Miraflores.

by MalenaN

I hope you write about it and add photos here, would love to see what I missed :)

by balhannahrise

Interesting read and great photos a place i only spend a few hours before catching a flight to Cusco.

by Galaxy31

Thanks Angela! I read so many comments saying there was nothing to see in Lima, but I found plenty that I liked and could have done with a couple more days. I loved the architecture in this city.

by balhannahrise

GREAT stuff Dee!
I take my hat off to you.

by ExRanger49

Thanks Barbara! Pleased you enjoyed the read.

by balhannahrise

Well they certainly love their sculpture work here. And such impressive buildings! I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing with us your walking tour Dee :)

by aussirose

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