Culture Guide

Lima is known for its rich historical and cultural past. Long before the Spaniards arrived several other cultures with highly advanced skills in construction, agriculture and arts settled the area of today's Lima. The Spanish colonist added to this legendary cultural legacy. Based on the model of Spanish cities, the "City of the Kings" arose and soon Lima became the political, economic, cultural and religious center of the Spanish colonies in South America. A completely different culture with European and Moorish influence mixed with the indigenous cultural and religious inheritance.

Everywhere visible in Lima is how these ancient cultures melted with modern factors. Amazing archaeological sites like the "Huacas" (Adobe pyramids) are spread over the city and are worth a visit. A must for every Lima visitor is the Historic City Center with amazing buildings, plazas and churches from Colonial times. Don't miss the numerous museums, displaying a huge variety of Lima's and Peru's culture from antique and traditional to modern and contemporary. Theatres, cinemas and Cultural Centers complete Lima's cultural scene.

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Church of Jesus, Maria and Joseph

Historical Churches & Convents
The origins of the Church of Jesus, Maria and Joseph date back to 1678, but it was almost completely destroyed by the severe earthquakes in 1687 and 1746. Today you will find a simple church with the distinctive charm of a typical small town chapel.

Church of San Sebastián

Historical Churches & Convents
The Church of San Sebastián was built in 1544 and is one of the oldest buildings in Lima. Santa Rosa de Lima (the patron saint of Lima) and San Martín de Porres (the first black saint) were baptized here. After the massive earthquake from 1940 that damaged the small church severely, it was beautifully rebuild.

The Archaeological Complex Puruchuco

Huacas (Adobe Pyramids)
Puruchuco (meaning‚ Feather hat in Quecha) is located on km 4.5 of the Carretera Central east out of Lima in today's district of Ate. In the sprawling shantytown called Tupac Amaru lies the pre-Hispanic site, known to archaeologists as Puruchuco-Huaquerones that once was a main ceremonial center of the Incas. During archaeological investigations...
The Museum of Inquisition and Congress is housed in the old building of the National Senate and opened its doors to the public on the 26th of July 1968. The mission of the museum is to conserve and pass on the cultural heritage for future generations. At the same time it points out the importance and dignity of the Congress of the Republic in th...

Magistrate House

Historical Buildings
Only little is known about this house standing at the north-east corner of the Plaza Mayor. It dates back to the end of the 17th century and is one of the oldest mansions in Lima. It got its name "Casa del Oidor" (oidor means in Spanish something like magistrate or "the one that hears / listens") because it is speculated that in Colonial times t...
The Church and Convent of San Francisco is besides the Cathedral of Lima probably the most significant religious complex in Lima and the most successful and impressive monument of Colonial architecture in whole Latin America. One of the "must-do's" in Lima is a highly recommended tour through the monastery. It gives an impressive inside on how r...
In April 2011 the Museum of Peruvian Gastronomy (Museo de la Gastronomia Peruana) opened its doors to the public. It’s the first museum in Peru dedicated exclusively to the Peruvian cuisine which plays such an important role not only in the culture of the country but as well in everyday life. The Gastronomy Museum leads you through more than 200...

The Dead City of Cajamarquilla

Huacas (Adobe Pyramids)
The "Dead City" of Cajamarquilla is located in today's district of San Juan de Lurigancho (close to the Parque Zoologico Huachipa in Ate-Vitarte). On the remains of an earlier settlement, the Wari built this archaeological complex around 500 AD. Cajamarquilla developed to the major commercial, administrative and military center with a population...

House of the Aliaga Family

Historical Buildings
The "Casa de Aliaga" is the oldest Colonial mansion in Lima, maybe even in whole South America. The house has been owned and lived in by the Aliaga family and their descendants since Franzisco Pizarro granted the land to Jerónimo de Aliaga in 1535. Originally there was a pre-Colombian altar on that plot of land owned by "Curaca Ta...
While the immense Baroque Cathedral of Lima is a museum for itself, within the old sacristy and the adjoining rooms it houses an impressive Religious Art Museum. The museum displays a large collection of historical objects including paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, sacred vessels as well as antique religious vestments and robes of form...
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