Today on January 18, 2012 Lima, the proud capital of Peru will be celebrating its 477th Anniversary!
The “City of Kings” as Lima got nicknamed in the 16th century was established by Francisco Pizzaro, the famous Spanish conquistador. The city was one of the first cities in South America to be established by the conquistadores and due to its location at sea chosen to be the capital of the Viceroyalty of Spain making Lima overnight the most important city on the continent.
Lima was founded on 18 January 1535 but the initial plan for the foundation was established on 6th January or better known as “Three Kings day”. This is the reason why Lima obtained its nickname and not as popular legend explains because of its status as Capital of the Viceroyalty.
Proof of this colonial past can still be found all over Lima, especially in the “Cercado de Lima” or City Center. The city center has several colonial buildings, recognizable by their ornamental balconies and facades. It is also in this time the Spanish built the famous Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru. On one side of the square you can find the Lima Cathedral which first stone was supposedly placed by Francisco Pizarro himself. On the other side one can find the Presidential Palace and the City Hall.
It is on this square that Lima will hold the main celebrations for its anniversary. Tonight the 18th January, Lima’s Mayor Susana Villaran will inaugurate the celebrations after which the Limeños will appreciate several concerts of famous Peruvian artists and of course a closing fireworks show.
Even though Lima may has lost some of its colonial aspect and has grown in a unstructured manner, especially during the 80’s when Peru suffered a large terrorist wave in parts of the country, the city still holds a lot of its old and new charm. The city holds about 30% of the Peruvian population making obvious it’s cultural, economic and political importance for this country. This combined with great Latin atmosphere, some of the best restaurants on the continent and amazing friendly and outgoing people make Lima definitely a worthwhile stop on your way to Machu Picchu and essential to people who are looking to understand Peru as a country.
For more information about Lima, please check our website; http://www.perutravelsonline.com/peru-destinations/lima
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