We know plazas or city squares in every culture around the world. As long as there have been settlements, villages or cities, there have been mostly centrally located places where the citizens came together. These public places were the center of urban life. In many cities the most important buildings like the city council or the main church are at these plazas. Very typical for Peru you'll find in the middle monuments, statues or fountains. The city squares used to be the place for official declarations, executions, coronations and gatherings, but as well for all kinds of social activities like festivities, processions, games, spectacles and celebrations. Located around were shops where everyone could satisfy their needs. The plazas represented the town itself, its power, influence and reputation.
As everywhere in the world, also in Peru, they had an important role in the economic development of every town. Lima is no exception. Its main square, the Plaza Mayor, for example, was since Lima's foundation in 1535 the place for many political, economical and social activities important for the town and its population. Other great plazas and parks never reached the importance of the Plaza Mayor, but still fulfilled similar purposes.
Today Lima's many plazas are a constant reminder of the colonial and republican history of the city. Many are beautifully restored and looked after; they still represent what Lima once has been, an influential and wealthy city in the Americas.