Inca temples once stood here. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro was assassinated here. Accused sorcerers were brutally punished around the square in the 17th century. Throughout history, the Plaza de Armas, or Plaza Mayor, has been a focal point of Lima, with its cathedrals, ornate buildings and government palace. Now, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bronze fountain with an angel perched on top blowing a trumpet is its centerpiece. Itâ€™s also the oldest remaining structure, created in 1650. In the evenings, the plaza is a popular gathering place.
On the north side of the plaza is the Palacio de Gobierno (governorâ€™s palace), which is now home to Peruâ€™s president and is open for free tours (Saturday 10 a.m., must sign up beforehand; Tel: 311-3900, extension 523). Visitors can see a traditional changing of the guard (Monday through Saturday, at 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.), but guards are always on duty here if you just want a dose of presidential (and military) ambiance.
On the east side of the plaza is the Catedral de Lima, home to a religious museum (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Entry: adults $3.60, children $0.75) and what are believed to be Pizarroâ€™s remains, which are encased in a casket. To the left of the cathedral is the Palacio Arzobispal de Lima with stunning mozarabe (Moorish) architecture (Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Entry: adults $7.50; children under 12 years old, free).
Jr. JunÃn and Jr. Carabaya
City Plaza Types:
Relative price: Free
Travel Skills: None
Peruvian nuevo sol