Lima – The City of Kings


Lima’s first official name was the City of Kings, (in Spanish, Ciudad de los Reyes), because the founding decision was made on Epiphany day on January 6. The city was founded a few days later, on January 18, 1535, then after several years, the name was replaced by the word Lima, in Quechua language, (in English – ”the speaker”).

Lima is a city of contrasts and the complex ethnical composition reflects its stormy history. Mestizos, who are the descendants of both Indians and Europeans have make up the majority of population. The city hosts all the main public institutions in Peru and is the political, economic and cultural center of the country.

The story of the oracle…

According to the legend, in the valley of the Rimac River existed from ancient times an oracle, not far from the river mouth in the ocean, before the heyday of the Inca state, but did not survive the conquest, so the Spaniards destroyed the oracle and built a church on the site.

Exciting things…

  • Tumi knife, a symbol of Peru, was used by the Incas for complex medical procedures such as trepanation.
  • Lima is the second largest city in the world located in a desert, after Cairo.
  • Chinatown – Barrio Chino – houses the largest Chinese community whose ancestors came to Peru to build the railway in the Andes.
  • In Lima there is a monument dedicated to Paddington Bear, the hero of children’s books written by Michael Bond. The bear was from Peru and was sent from Lima to London.
  • Lima is the culinary capital of both Americas – Lima won this cosmopolitan title because of the merger European culinary traditions, especially the Spanish, with the Andean and Asian. Lima restaurants are offering dishes from all ethnic groups living in the city. Chifas or small Chinese restaurants were influenced by the Andean cuisine and besides cevicherias they serve raw fish in lemon juice and spicy chili sauce.
  • One of the largest markets in Lima, Plaza de Acho, is sometimes used for bullfights. It is the second arena of this kind, as old, as Plaza de la Maestranza in Seville, Spain.
  • The largest complex of fountains in the world, located in Lima, in Parque de la Reserva, is called Circuito del Aqua.
  • One of the largest properties, which have preserved colonial architecture, is Isabella House Oquendo, who has over 40 bedrooms and the impressive church Convento de San Francisco, which survived the earthquake of 1746 and also the Baroque Cathedral of Lima from 1625, which have been renovated several times.
  • In the city there are traces of pre colonial history of the country, with the Huaca or places of worship. Made from dried bricks, pyramids are small imitations of Chiclayo and Trujillo structures in areas of northern Peru, most dating from the IV-V and managed to survive the colonial period.

What should you know before arriving in Lima…


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