A walk through the Historic Center of Lima, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is certainly fascinating for all its attractions, including its casonas (mansions), museums, squares, monasteries and churches dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. All of them have survived centuries and are part of the city’s hallmark.
The Casona San Marcos is one of the most outstanding historic buildings as well as one of the best preserved constructions from the colonial period. At present, it houses the Cultural Center of the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos.
Its construction is a synthesis of history of Lima’s architecture, from the baroque and rococo styles to the Republican influence reflected in the restorations made in late 19th century in the courtyards.
The Casa de Riva Agüero, built in 1760, is considered other major attraction in Lima, as well as one of the best preserved constructions. It holds an extensive historical archive, a rich library and the ‘Museo de Artes y Tradiciones Populares’.
It is a clear example of a house in Lima that, due to the various stages of construction and reconstruction, combines different architectural styles.
It holds two courtyards built like the Spanish style in the 16th century, a neoclassical facade of the late 18th and French-influenced architectural details of the mid-19th century.
In one of the busiest streets of the Historic Center, Jiron de la Union, we can find the Courret House, an outstanding example of modernism in Lima’s architecture.
It was one of the most important photographic studios in Lima, founded by French artist Eugene Courret in late 19th century.
Palais Concert is located in the corner of Jiron de la Union and Emancipacion Avenue. This is an emblematic building with enormous cultural and architectural value of the early twentieth century. The French style is reflected in its fine finishes.
From 1920 to 1940, said building was a famous café-cinema-bar and a gathering point for Lima’s intellectual elite like Abraham Valdelomar and visited by important celebrities like Cesar Vallejo.
We can find the Palace of Torre Tagle, a mansion built in colonial times, in Jiron Ucayali, just two blocks away from Plaza Mayor. The materials used for its construction were brought from Spain, Panama and Central America.
The facade of the Palace of Torre Tagle shows an Andalusian baroque style and features carved stone porches and arches and two artistic Moorish cedar and mahogany balconies.
The mansion was restored during 1954 and 1956 and currently serves as headquarters of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vice Ministry and National Directorate of Protocol.
This Casa Osambela, in the colonial heart of Lima, is one of the biggest houses built in Lima during the colonial period. It is also called Casa de Oquendo. This is also the same place mentioned in our post about the Top 10 free things to do in Lima.
Its facade is neoclassical, showing reminiscent of the Rococo style. It also holds 5 balconies from the Louis XVI style, decorated with garlands and accompanied by 3 balconies parapet.
At the top of said building, we can find a lookout under a small Muslim dome.
Unlike many houses built in colonial times, the rooms in Osambela are parallel to the street. Nowadays, it serves as a venue for art exhibits and cultural events.
Without any doubt, the mansions in Lima, their architecture and history will continue captivating many tourists and are a reason to be proud of being Peruvians.