Published: February 1st 2012February 1st 2012
Following the design of a city by the order of King Charles I of Spain, the Plaza de Armas in Lima is considered to be the birthplace of the city and one of the finest main plazas in most of South America. Founded by the famous Francisco Pizarro, the Plaza de Armas of Lima also takes much of its importance due to the buildings that surround it. Across the street from the central square, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Town Hall, and the Government Palace all stand proudly around the point where the city of Lima was founded. Also surrounding the Plaza de Armas of Lima are buildings such as the Casa Riva-Aguero, Casa de Aliaga, and Museo del Banco Central de la Reserva, which are artifacts in their own right, architecturally or otherwise, even though they are a block out of the physical Plaza de Armas. Tours to South America
that highlight historical architecture would be remiss to skip Lima.
Over the centuries, Lima’s historic center has beheld many important events that have shaped the country, such as the first bullfight, the executions of the Spanish Inquisition, and in 1821, the declaration of Peru’s Independence, yet when I stepped out of the cab, I stepped out into a Plaza that has stayed unchanged for the past centuries. The bronze statue in the center that stands atop the fountain is actually the oldest part of the Plaza de Armas, and dates back to 1651, when the construction of the city of Lima had just begun. All of the buildings around me were ancient and beautiful displays of the colonial Spanish architecture, but as I started to walk I noticed how easy it is to get lost in the massive crowds of people . The Plaza de Armas is very large, yet packed with people, tourist and locals as well.
Before I knew it, I had been convinced to join one of the tours for 10 Soles ($3.25) and just as quickly as I had entered the Plaza I left it, only to return later that night after my tour around downtown Lima, which for around four U.S. dollars, was a great amount of fun. There are many places that the local tour guides in Lima will take you that no other foreign or international tour company will. In my opinion, if you want to see culture, sometimes it is in the architecture and grand buildings, but sometimes it is just going to a place that has importance to the locals and experiencing something that you never thought was there. This is the key to memorable South America vacations