Lima, Peru – Part II – Historic Center of Lima

Downtown Lima is a bustling metropolis that offers centuries of rich history. During our visit to the Cercado de Lima, we were shown the centuries old architecture of various government buildings, cathedrals and the President’s house which was adjacent to town square. We were lucky enough to arrive during a week of festival where we were able to enjoy a parade with a full marching band and people in costumes. The day we toured the center of Lima also just happened to be national Pisco Sour day! A Pisco sour could be compared to a whiskey sour except that Pisco is not whiskey. The cocktail is made with Pisco, muddled limes (sometimes lemons), simple syrup, an egg white, and bitters. It is shaken and served with a foamy top resulting from the egg white, then topped off with cinnamon! Yum! In the spirit of the holiday, most restaurants were serving these complimentary to lunch and dinner.

My favorite part of our day was touring the Catacombs of the Saint Francis Cathedral & Monastery. To read more on this experience, see my post titled “Catacombs of the Saint Francis Cathedral & Monastery in Lima, Peru – A MUST SEE!!!” Lastly, we walked through the central market place which was missing its glass roof which was destroyed in an earthquake. Recent tremors and a 6.4 quake had deterred them from replacing it.

Our visit to the Cercado de Lima was brief but the sights and rich history made it worth it. If planning a vacation, I would suggest spending no more than 1-2 days visiting this central district of downtown Lima. This will give you more than enough time to take in the history and appreciate the scenery.

~Carpe Diem!


Catacombs of the Saint Francis Cathedral & Monastery in Lima, Peru – A MUST SEE!!!

For those of you looking for things to do while in Lima, Peru, consider visiting the Saint Francis Cathedral & Monastery. It not only is fascinating for its architecture, style and history but the Catacombs beneath the foundation offer a unique experience! Truly unforgettable.

The Monastery was built in the 15th century and sports Spanish Baroque style architecture. The foundation was built with round well-like structures designed to absorb the shock from frequent tremors and earthquakes. The interior is adorned with gorgeous original murals only recently discovered within the last 40 or so years. It is the only original construction cathedral left in the area but it did suffer some damage in the 1970’s from a quake. The guide conducting the tour of the grounds shared a story with us which claims that all the beautiful tile work, mahogany, and cedar in several of the chambers took over a year to collect back in the 15th century. Messengers were sent to gather hand-painted tiles from Seville, Mahogany and Cedar from Central and/or South America plus other materials from India. We were prohibited from photographing anything inside the grounds so unfortunately I have no pictures to share with you. Sorry!

The Catacombs part of the tour was the most fascinating for me as my B.A. was in Anthropology with an Archaeology focus. Osteology was my all time favorite class so bones fascinate me!

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