Previous post: San Francisco Church and Monastery
One of my favorite places in Lima is the Plaza Mayor (also known as the Plaza de Armas).
This is the historic core of Lima, the plaza designated by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. It was developed in 1535 to conform with Spanish dictates found in the Laws of the Indies, which proscribed an urban form in Colonial America of regular street patterns, harmonious groupings of major institutions around large central common areas, and provisions for orderly expansion.
In line with those precepts, the buildings along the plaza include the Archbishop’s Palace and the Basilica Cathedral (along the east side) . The Palace is a modern construction, having been built in 1924, while the colonial façade of the Basilica encloses a worship space that has been regularly rebuilt over the decades (usually following earthquakes).
The balcony on the City Hall displays a Christmas scene of the three kings bringing their gifts to the Christ child. This is a very Catholic country, but this is also the “City of Kings,” named for it’s founding during the celebration of Epiphany.
The Government Palace is here too, set back from the north side of the plaza.
Between these are a mix of beguiling ocher buildings, most with elaborate traditional balconies.
Well, except for the cows. They are part of a civic promotion. Most of them are not terribly interesting, but I do find the Cher cow rather amusing in this setting.