Place:Lima, Peru


Alt namesLimasource: Wikipedia
Lima Provinciassource: Wikipedia
Located inPeru
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín Rivers, in the desert zone of the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaside city of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of more than 9.7 million and more than 10.7 million in its metropolitan area, Lima is one of the largest cities in the Americas.

Lima was named by natives in the agricultural region known by native Peruvians as Limaq. It became the capital and most important city in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru (República del Perú). Around one-third of the national population lives in the metropolitan area.

Lima is home to one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on 12 May 1551, during the Viceroyalty of Peru, is the first officially established and the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.

Nowadays, the city is considered to be the political, cultural, financial and commercial center of the country. Internationally, it is one of the thirty most populated urban agglomerations in the world. Due to its geostrategic importance, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network has categorized it as a "beta" tier city.

Jurisdictionally, the metropolis extends mainly within the province of Lima and in a smaller portion, to the west, within the Constitutional Province of Callao, where the seaport and the Jorge Chávez Airport are located. Both provinces have regional autonomy since 2002.

In October 2013, Lima was chosen to host the 2019 Pan American Games; these games were held at venues in and around Lima, and were the largest sporting event ever hosted by the country. It also hosted the APEC Meetings of 2008 and 2016, the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in October 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2014, and the Miss Universe 1982 contest.



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Pre-Columbian era

Although the history of the city of Lima began with its Spanish foundation in 1535, the territory formed by the valleys of the Rímac, Chillón and Lurín rivers was occupied by pre-Inca settlements, which were grouped under the Lordship of Ichma. The Maranga culture and the Lima culture were the ones that established and forged an identity in these territories. During those times, the sanctuaries of Lati (current Puruchuco) and Pachacámac (the main pilgrimage sanctuary during the time of the Incas) were built.

These cultures were conquered by the Wari Empire during the height of its imperial expansion. It is during this time that the ceremonial center of Cajamarquilla was built. As Wari importance declined, local cultures regained autonomy, highlighting the Chancay culture. Later, in the 15th century, these territories were incorporated into the Inca Empire. From this time we can find a great variety of huacas throughout the city, some of which are under investigation.

The most important or well-known are those of Huallamarca, Pucllana and Mateo Salado, all located in the middle of Lima districts with very high urban growth, so they are surrounded by business and residential buildings; however, that does not prevent its perfect state of conservation. On the outskirts of the city are the ruins of Pachacámac, an important religious center built by the Lima culture 3,000 years ago and which was used even until the time the Spanish conquistadors arrived.

Foundation of Lima

In 1532, the Spanish and their indigenous allies (from the ethnic groups subdued by the Incas) under the command of Francisco Pizarro took monarch Atahualpa prisoner in the city of Cajamarca. Although a ransom was paid, he was sentenced to death for political and strategic reasons. After some battles, the Spanish conquered their empire. The Spanish Crown named Francisco Pizarro governor of the lands he had conquered. Pizarro decided to found the capital in the Rímac river valley, after the failed attempt to establish it in Jauja.

He considered that Lima was strategically located, close to a favorable coast for the construction of a port but prudently far from it in order to prevent attacks by pirates and foreign powers, on fertile lands and with a suitable cool climate. Thus, on 18 January 1535, Lima was founded with the name "City of the Kings", named in this way in honor of the epiphany, on territories that had been of the kuraka Taulichusco. The explanation of this name is due to the fact that "around the same time in January, the Spaniards were looking for the place to lay the foundation for the new city, [...] not far from the Pachacámac sanctuary, near the Rímac river.

However, as had happened with the region, initially called New Castile and later Peru, the City of the Kings soon lost its name in favor of "Lima". Pizarro, with the collaboration of Nicolás de Ribera, Diego de Agüero and Francisco Quintero personally traced the Plaza Mayor and the rest of the city grid, building the Viceroyalty Palace (today transformed into the Government Palace of Peru, which hence retains the traditional name of Casa de Pizarro) and the Cathedral, whose first stone Pizarro laid with his own hands. In August 1536, the flourishing city was besieged by the troops of monarch Manco Inca Yupanqui, but the Spanish and their indigenous allies managed to defeat them.

In the following years, Lima gained prestige by being designated the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and the seat of a Real Audiencia in 1543. Since the location of the coastal city was conditioned by the ease of communications with Spain, a close bond with the port of Callao was soon established.

Viceroyalty time

For the next century, it prospered as the center of an extensive trade network that integrated the viceroyalty with the Americas, Europe, and East Asia. But the city was not without its dangers; violent earthquakes destroyed a large part of it between 1586 and 1687, which will cause a great display of construction activity. It is then when aqueducts, starlings and retaining walls appear before the flooding of the rivers, the bridge over the Rímac is finished, the cathedral is built, and numerous hospitals, convents and monasteries are built. Then we can see that the city is articulated around its neighborhoods. Another threat was the presence of pirates and corsairs in the Pacific Ocean, which motivated the construction of the Walls of Lima between 1684 and 1687.[1]

The 1687 earthquake marked a turning point in the history of Lima, since it coincided with a recession in trade due to economic competition with other cities such as Buenos Aires. With the creation of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717, the political demarcations were reorganized, and Lima only lost some territories that actually already enjoyed their autonomy. In 1746 a strong earthquake severely damaged the city and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive reconstruction effort by Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco.

In the second half of the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas about public health and social control influenced the development of the city. During this period, the Peruvian capital was affected by the Bourbon reforms as it lost its monopoly on foreign trade and its control over the important mining region of Upper Peru. This economic weakening led the elite of the city to depend on the positions granted by the viceregal government and the Church, which contributed to keeping them more linked to the Crown than to the cause of independence.

The greatest political-economic impact that the city experienced at that time occurred with the creation of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, which changed the course and orientations imposed by the new mercantile traffic. Among the buildings built during this period there is the Coliseo de Gallos, the Acho Bullring and the General Cemetery. The first two were erected to regulate these popular activities, centralizing them in one place, while the cemetery put an end to the practice of burying the dead in churches, considered unhealthy by public authorities.


A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean independence fighters led by General Don José de San Martín landed in southern Lima in 1820, but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and guerrilla action on the mainland, Viceroy José de la Serna was forced to evacuate the city in July 1821 to save the Royalist army. Fearing a popular uprising and lacking the means to impose the order, the City Council invited San Martín to enter the city, signing a Declaration of Independence at his request.

Proclaimed the independence of Peru in 1821 by General San Martín, Lima became the capital of the new Republic of Peru. Thus, it was the seat of the government of the liberator and also the seat of the first Constituent Congress that the country had. The war lasted for two more years, during which the city changed hands many times and suffered abuses from both sides. By the time the war was decided, on 9 December 1824, at the Battle of Ayacucho, Lima had been considerably impoverished.

Republican era

After the War of Independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru, but the country's economic stagnation and political disorder paralyzed its urban development. This situation was reversed in the 1850s, when the growing public and private income derived from the export of guano allowed a rapid expansion of the city. In the following twenty years, the State financed the construction of large public buildings to replace the old viceregal establishments, among these are the Central Market, the General Slaughterhouse, the Mental Asylum, the Penitentiary and the Hospital Dos de Mayo. There were also improvements in communications; in 1850 a railway line between Lima and Callao was completed and in 1870 an iron bridge was inaugurated over the Rímac River, baptized as Puente Balta. In 1872 the City Walls were demolished in anticipation of further urban growth in the future. However, this period of economic expansion also widened the gap between rich and poor, producing widespread social unrest.

During the War of the Pacific (1879–1883), the Chilean army occupied Lima after defeating Peruvian troops and reserves in the battles of San Juan and Miraflores. The city suffered from the invaders, who looted museums, public libraries and educational institutions. At the same time, angry mobs attacked wealthy citizens and the Asian colony, looting their properties and businesses.

20th century

At the beginning of the 20th century, the construction of avenues that would serve as a matrix for the development of the city began. The avenues Paseo de la República, Leguía (today called Arequipa), Brasil and the landscaping Salaverry that headed south and Venezuela and Colonial avenues to the west joining the port of Callao.

In the 1930s the great constructions began with the remodeling of the Government Palace of Peru and the Palacio Municipal. These constructions reached their peak in the 1950s, during the government of Manuel A. Odría, when the great buildings of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Education were built (Javier Alzamora Valdez Building, currently the seat of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and the Hospitals of the Workers' Insurance and of the Employee as well as the National Stadium and several large housing units.

Also in those years a phenomenon began that changed the configuration of the city, which was the massive immigration of inhabitants from the interior of the country, producing the exponential growth of the capital's population and the consequent urban expansion. The new populations were settling on land near the center which was used as an agricultural area. The current districts of Lince, La Victoria to the south were populated; Breña and Pueblo Libre to the west; El Agustino, Ate and San Juan de Lurigancho to the east and San Martín de Porres and Comas to the north.

As an emblematic point of this expansion, in 1973 the self-managed community of Villa El Salvador (current district of Villa El Salvador) was created, located 30 km south of the city center and currently integrated into the metropolitan area. In the 1980s, terrorist violence added to the disorderly growth of the city the increase of settlers who arrived as internally displaced persons.[2] In the 1940s, Lima started a period of rapid growth spurred by migration from the Andean region, as rural people sought opportunities for work and education. The population, estimated at 600,000 in 1940, reached 1.9 million by 1960 and 4.8 million 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. The new migrants, at first confined to slums in downtown Lima, led this expansion through large-scale land invasions, which evolved into shanty towns, known as pueblos jóvenes.

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The Department of Lima is a department and region located in the central coast of Peru, the seat of the Regional Government is Huacho.

Lima Province, which contains the city of Lima, the country's capital, is located west of the Department of Lima; this province is autonomous and not under the jurisdiction of the Regional Government.


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The remains of early Andean inhabitants, hunters and harpoon fishermen from more than 10,000 years ago, are to be found in the department of Lima. These remains were found in Chivateros, near the Chillón River, and in various other places. These persons incorporated nets, hooks, farming, ceramics and weaving to their everyday objects. The inhabitants of the coast lived in the lomas and the valleys, where they built temples and dwelling complexes, leading to huge ceremonial centres, such as the Huacoy on the Chillón River; Garagay and La Florida on the Rímac River, Manchay on the Lurín River; and Chancay, Supe and many other valleys to the north and south. There are finely ornamented temples with figures modelled in clay.

Lithic prehistoric projectile points of Paijan type were found at Ancón, 40 kilometres northeast of Lima in the Chillón River Valley.

The 5,000-year-old ruins known as El Paraíso are also located in this area. A temple at the site is believed to be about 5,000 years old.

In 2006, a team of archeological researchers led by Robert Benfer announced their findings from a four-year excavation at Buena Vista in the Chillón River valley a few kilometres north of present-day Lima. They had discovered a 4200-year-old observatory constructed by an early Andean civilization, a three-dimensional sculpture, unique for the time period in this region, and sophisticated carvings. The observatory is on top of a 10-meter pyramidal mound and has architectural features for sighting the astronomical solstices. The discovery pushes back the time for the development of complex civilisation in the area and has altered scholars' understanding of Preceramic period cultures in Peru.

The Lima culture (100 A.D. to 650 A.D.) arose in this area, specially in the central valleys from Chancay to Lurín. It was distinguished by painted adobe buildings.

During this time, the Huari conquest took place, thus giving rise to Huari-style ceramics, together with a local style known as Nievería. As the population grew, their culture changed. With the decline of the Huari, whose most important center was Cajamarquilla, new local cultures arose. The Chancay are the most well-known. They developed large urban centers and a considerable textile production, as well as mass-produced ceramics.

At this stage in the mid-15th century, the Incas arrived from their base in the Andes. They conquered and absorbed the regional cultures and occupied important sites such as Pachacamac, turning it into an administrative centre.

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