Lima, the capital of Peru, was founded on the 18th January 1535 by the leader of the Spanish invasion, Francisco Pizarro. But the history of Lima begins long before this, lost between myth and history.
Geographically located between the ecological levels of chala to janca, Lima occupies the central coastal and highland area of Peru, between the valleys of the Chillon, Rimac and Lurin rivers.
The Chillon valley was inhabited by two ethnic groups, the Qolles in the lower part of the valley and the Qivis in the higher part, the traditional town of Santa Rosa de Quives. The word Lima, comes from the quechua word Rimac or “he who speaks”, an allusion to the powerful “Huaca” or sacred place in the area surrounding the Mama priesthood, the current day town of Chosica.
In the lower part of the Lurin valley, the principal temple of one of the most important deities in the Andean pantheon is found. We are referring to Pachacamac, creator god in the Andean cosmo-vision in these areas. One special characteristic of this god is that he causes earthquakes with the movement of any part of his body, as he lives in an underground world. This deity suffered a transformation which brought him forward in time, and he is still worshipped to this day. This happened with the arrival of the black man to South American soil, brought by the invasion…
After the expulsion of idol worship carried out by Francisco de Avila, the black slaves on the coast picked up this tradition of worship under the name “The Lord of the Earthquakes” (Patron of the city of Lima); while the Andean man continues the tradition as “Taytacha Temblores” (Patron of the city of Cusco). Nowadays, both cults are catholic and worshipped openly in great numbers. In the upper part of the Lurin river valley, the sacred mountain of Pariacaca is located, the divinity which forms the dual complement of Pachacamac.
Within urban Lima we find archaeological structures with pyramid shapes, evidence that it has been an important place since ancient times. It is worth remembering that 180kms to the north of the city of Lima, the archaeological complex of Caral is located, a civilization developed around the year 3000BC in the Supe river valley. This means 5000 years of civilization, placing Lima in the middle of the approximate time line of development of the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, India and China. There is speculation that even older structures exist in the area around Caral, in the settlement called “Bandurria” as well as in the valley of the Lower Casma river, close to the very interesting archaeological site of Cerro Sechin.
Nowadays, Lima is a modern city, where men and women from all over Peru, and in fact the world, converge. Recently (2008) it hosted meetings of economic groups from Asia-Pacifc, Caribbean, European Union and Latin America; in which Lima demonstrated its qualities as a modern city. Some districts combine residential neighborhoods with financial centers, others conserve the tradition of old Lima which give the capital city an air of both tradition and modernity. The Spanish colonial era leaves us a city of European design also known as the “Damero of Pizarro”. Old houses, terraces, balconies, tree-lined avenues and beautiful gardens earned Lima the name of “City of Kings” and later “The Garden City”.
In remembrance of this attractive city, Lima has inspired Creole artists who have created their best pieces to emphasize its beauty and charm. As the cultural center of Peru, Lima has attracted artists who have made the city their second homes. We remember our beloved Chabuca Granda, Mario Vargas Llosa and Victor Delfin among others, as “limeños”, residents of the city of Lima.
Lima’s Pacific ocean coast highlights modern districts such as San Isidro and Miraflores. These districts have become residential, commercial and financial neighborhoods; without forgetting their urban beauty and the beautiful scenery of their coastline. Another beautiful and traditional district is Barranco, where the atmosphere still contains an air of old bohemian Lima which refuses to give way to modernity. Here the “Puente de Suspiros” bridge stands out, representing old fashioned romance which lives on in traditional limeños.
The city of Lima presents us with an attractive tourist destination, as it has at its disposal well preserved and important historical attractions; first class gastronomy; modernity, beautiful colonial architecture; a coast line with first class breaks to practice surfing; active night life. In fact, Lima has it all.
design by Gissel Enriquez - development by Jeronimo Design DDS