users online
Contact me


Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, on a coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It forms a contiguous urban area with the seaport of Callao. Lima is the 3rd largest city in Latin America, behind Mexico City, and São Paulo.

Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or "The City of Kings." It became the most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru and, after the Peruvian War of Independence, was made the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.

In the pre-Columbian era, the location of what is now the city of Lima was inhabited by several Amerindian groups under the Ychsma polity, which was incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1532, a group of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa and took over his Empire. As the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the Rímac valley to found his capital on January 18, 1535 as Ciudad de los Reyes. In August 1536, the new city was besieged by the troops of Manco Inca, however, the Spaniards and their native allies defeated the Inca rebels.

Over the next few years, Lima gained prestige as it was designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. During the next century Lima flourished as the center of an extensive trade network which integrated the Viceroyalty with the Americas, Europe and the Far East. However, the city was not free from dangers; powerful earthquakes destroyed most of the city in 1687. A second threat was the presence of pirates and privateers in the Pacific Ocean, which led to the building of the Lima City Walls between 1684 and 1687. The 1687 earthquake marked a turning point in the history of Lima as it coincided with a recession in trade and economic competition by other cities such as Buenos Aires.

In 1746, a powerful earthquake severely damaged Lima and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive rebuilding effort under Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco. In the later half of the 18th century, the ideas of the Enlightenment on public health and social control shaped the development of the city. During this period, Lima was adversely affected by the Bourbon Reforms as it lost its monopoly on overseas trade and its control over the important mining region of Upper Peru. This economic decline made the city's elite dependent on royal and ecclesiastical appointment and thus, reluctant to advocate independence.

A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean patriots under General José de San Martín managed to land south of Lima in 1820 but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and the action of guerrillas on land, Viceroy José de la Serna was forced to evacuate the city on July 1821 to save the Royalist army. Fearing a popular uprising and lacking any means to impose order, the city council invited San Martín to enter Lima and signed a Declaration of Independence at his request. However, the war was not over; in the next two years the city changed hands several times and suffered exactions from both sides.

After the war of independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru but economic stagnation and political turmoil brought urban development to a halt. This hiatus ended in the 1850s, when increased public and private revenues from guano exports led to a rapid expansion of the city. However, the export-led economic expansion also widened the gap between rich and poor, fostering social unrest. During the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, Chilean troops occupied Lima, looting public museums, libraries and educational institutions. At the same time, angry mobs attacked wealthy citizens and the Asian population; sacking their properties and businesses. After the war, the city underwent a process of renewal and expansion from the 1890s up to the 1920s. During this period the urban layout was modified by the construction of big avenues which crisscrossed the city and connected it with neighboring towns.

In 1940, an earthquake destroyed most of the city, which at that time was mostly built out of adobe and quincha. In the 1940s, Lima started a period of rapid growth spurred by immigration from the Andean regions of Peru. Population, estimated at 0.6 million in 1940, reached 1.9M by 1960 and 4.8M by 1980. At the start of this period, the urban area was confined to a triangular area bounded by the city's historic center, Callao and Chorrillos; in the following decades settlements spread to the north, beyond the Rímac River, to the east, along the Central Highway, and to the south. Immigrants, at first confined to slums in downtown Lima, led this expansion through large-scale land invasions which gave rise to the proliferation of shanty towns, known as pueblos jóvenes.

September 2009

No comments:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MUCH MORE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Packing List

Subway Maps

Currency Exchange

View Guestbook Sign Guestbook Weather Transportation Accomodation Maps