Francisco Pizarro founded the capital of the vice-royalty of Peru at a strategic location composed of a broad, fertile valley nourished by the clear waters of the Rímac River, with good anchorage on the Pacific coast at the port of Callao, where ships from Panama could arrive. Pizarro founded the City of Kings on January 18th 1535 in the Rímac Valley, and over time it became better known by its indigenous name, Limac, as it grew to become the political, economic and cultural centre of the viceroyalty of Peru and most of Spanish America.
The city was the hub of Spanish power in the central Andes. It was also the nucleus of Peru’s demographic melting pot, a city where those born in the Americas shared a cultural identity with Europeans, Africans and Asians. The Spanish influence in Lima is defined by the grid system of the historic centre, built around the central main square, or Plaza Mayor, with its mix of artistic and architectural styles dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries, all combined in serene harmony.
It should be remembered however that here very little remains of the city’s earliest architecture, beyond the central fountain and the Casa del Oidor. The present-day bronze fountain dates from the mid-17th century, although the original stone structure was erected 1556. The other structures, such as the Government Palace (House of Pizarro), Municipal Palace and Archbishop’s Palace all date from the early 20th century.
The Modern Lima
Today Lima is a bustling city, a metropolis of almost nine million diverse inhabitants concerned with the struggle to modernize and address their everyday problems. Its social fabric reflects the contrasts seen throughout Peru. Shantytowns and modern business and residential districts are separated by just a few kilometers, and the growing city now stretches from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the Andes.
The enormous city of Lima now has many centres, one of which is Miraflores, a coastal district epitomizing Lima’s modern and cosmopolitan side. The origins of the district are associated with the Mercedarian order, which was the first to evangelize the area. Today, its brightly-lit avenues are filled with shopping malls and business centres, and the parks, promenades and beaches that define this district’s public spaces are lined with towering apartment blocks.
Farther along the seafront, with its beautiful ocean views, is Barranco, the bohemian quarter of Lima. Museums, art galleries, antique dealers and restaurants all prosper here in elegant republican style mansions built in the early 19th century, when Barranco became the preferred bathing resort and residential area of well-to-do families. The Bridge of Sighs is an attraction no visitor to the district should miss. Barranco is a place where artists and intellectuals come together, a corner of the city filled with an inspiring flavour of how old Lima used to be.
I had the opportunity to learn how to make the famous Peruvian dish, Ceviche and national drink, Pisco Sour at Lima 27 Restaurant. It was lots of fun learning Peru’s food and drinks!
Have you been to Peru? I’d love to hear your experiences! Leave your comments below. If you haven’t, I hope this post would encourage you to explore this beautiful country.
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Camera: Nikon D800 with Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 (photos) and iPhone X (photos & videos).
Post-processing: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (photos) and Final Cut Pro (videos).
Music for the videos were licensed from Soundstripe.
All videos above were taken using iPhone X. I used DJI Osmo Mobile 2 to stabilize the iPhone especially for long hours of shooting. DJI Osmo Mobile 2 definitely helps to reduce the shakiness of my hands, if I were to do it hand-held. This produces better video quality. I love using it! You should get one too if you like taking videos using your smart phone. Click on the image below to find out more about DJI Osmo Mobile 2.