Lima’s Plaza Mayor

The capital of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and the Viceroyalty of Peru couldn’t have a grander plaza than Plaza Mayor in Lima. With its trademark yellow buildings, balconies, cathedral, and presidential palace, there may not be a finer example of a Spanish plaza in the world. The plaza is fitting for Lima’s nickname, “The City of Kings”.

Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Plaza Mayor

This UNESCO World Heritage site in Lima’s historic city center has been witness to important historic moments, such as José de San Martin proclaiming Peru’s independence in 1821. It has been used as a bullfighting ring and city gallows.

Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Plaza Mayor

At the center of the plaza is a fountain dating back to 1651. It was placed there by García Sarmiento de Sotomayor. An earlier fountain existed back to 1578.

Fountain at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Fountain

The most important building sits at the north end of Plaza Mayor. Palacio de Gobierno was built in 1535 and rebuilt in 1937. It was the home of Francisco Pizarro and all governors of Peru after.

Palacio de Gobierno at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio de Gobierno

Palacio del Gobierno on Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio del Gobierno

Moving clockwise is the Palacio Arzobispal. Built in 1924, it is the residence of the Archbishop of Lima, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima, and the headquarters of the Cardinal of Lima. The building has beautifully constructed balconies along with several other impressive architectural elements.

Palacio Arzobispal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio Arzobispal

Palacio Arzobispal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio Arzobispal

Palacio Arzobispal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio Arzobispal

Next to the Palacio Arzobispal is the Basílica Catedral de Lima y Primada del Perú, or Catedral de Lima for short. Built in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, it also contains Pizarro’s tomb. It had to be rebuilt after a 1940 earthquake.

Catedral de Lima at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Catedral de Lima

Catedral de Lima at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Catedral de Lima

Portal de Botoneros, Palacio de la Unión, and Palacio Municipal all stand over Plaza Mayor to the south and west.

Portal de Botoneros at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Portal de Botoneros

Palacio de la Unión at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio de la Unión

Palacio Municipal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio Municipal

Palacio Municipal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Palacio Municipal

Behind Palacio Municipal is the Casa de Correos y Telegrafos (Post Office). It also houses the Museo Postal y Filatélico (Postal and Philatelic Museum) and a small area lined with restaurants.

Casa de Correos y Telegrafos at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Casa de Correos y Telegrafos

Behind Palacio Municipal at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Behind Palacio Municipal

Next to Palacio Municipal and to the northwest of Plaza Mayor is another small plaza, Plaza Perú. There’s a fountain and a Peruvian flag next to a modern building.

Plaza Perú at Plaza Mayor in Lima, Peru

Plaza Perú

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