Lima: The City of Balconies

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Buildings in the historic center of Lima, Peru, there are many balconies of the colonial era, corresponding to the Viceroyalty of the country. These give the environment a unique beauty, which is an attraction for thousands of tourists visit this city every year.

The City of Balconies

Photography by HBarrison

The profusion of these balconies gives a particular harmony and originality to this world heritage site in Lima.
The inhabitants of Lima never conceived as something unusual in the amount of these. Lima is spoken of as the «City of the balconies».

Moorish houses:

According to historians, the noble and wealthy individuals who arrived in the viceregal capital built their houses and houses with similar styles to the Spanish-Moorish Moorish architecture.

In colonial times, with the arrival of immigrants, not used to women come out to stroll the streets. Thus, balconies and windows framed fulfilled its role within the strict standards of the time, which allowed the ladies of rank observing the work of the city without having to leave their homes, while offering the necessary discretion.

Its ornate lattice corresponds to the typical North Africa, and also added freshness and shade for a warm and without rain, as it was in Lima and Morocco.

The luxury and ostentation of the architecture of these beautiful balconies were unique, never repeated the same pattern: while some were open and without enclosures, other drawer, closed or corner. Most are built with trusses that contributed to the passage of light and air, while offering the necessary privacy to the looks from the inside.

The City of Balconies of Lima

Photography by HBarrison

Ceramics, Tiles and Earthquakes:

As built in Morocco, most of the balconies were decorated with Seville tiles and mosaics, which over the years, multiple earthquakes and the ravages of time were destroyed. But then, were replaced by natives of the same size and finesse.

Within the balcony seats were installed for the cute and curious Lima could observe the comings and goings of the city without being seen. Such was the number of these buildings takes on a peculiar characteristic Lima urban streets like true carriers.
Bruno Roselli, a great fighter for the preservation of the famous balconies, said they were in Lima as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in New York or London Trafalgar Square.

Adopt a Balcony:

At present the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima is running a campaign for the recovery of these balconies, which called for the private company under the slogan «take a balcony,» to be restored, so they look with all the magnificence of its golden age. There are several companies engaged in this work, as telephone companies, retail chains and supermarkets.

City of Balconies

Photography by David Berkowitz

Casa Aliaga:

This was built in 1536 on a pre-Columbian sanctuary that existed before the colonial era. When Francisco Pizarro decided to build its seat of government, was appointed as manager Diego de Aguero draw the maps of the city. Thus, the neighboring solar Pizarro’s house were assigned to his closest commanders and new authorities of the colony. Next to the house of Francisco Pizarro was built to dwell Ramirez Jeronimo de Aliaga, which was a clear indicator of the degree of consideration for him was the conqueror. Should be noted that from then until now the property has been permanently inhabited by descendants of the original owner.

It is the oldest mansion in the city and is located opposite the Palace of Government, in a side street. The mansion, which is in excellent condition and jewelry as the viceroyalty, sometimes used for cultural events very special.

House of Oidor:

In this most ancient of the city, inhabited by the Magistrate, who was appointed by the Spanish monarchy to act in the colonial administration. The role of the Magistrate was touring the country to control their government. In this regard, a consultant advised the Viceroy.

House of Pilate:

It is one of the oldest houses in Lima. It was built by a Jesuit priest, Luis Portillo in 1590. The name was given by the Spanish who arrived and found the similarity of the existing house in Seville.

Casa Goyeneche:

Built in 1863, with French influence, this is one of the most prominent within the historic center of Lima. It is preserved in its original state with its typical balconies.

House Riva Agüero:

Built in the eighteenth century by Riva Agüero family, its last inhabitant, José de la Riva Agüero y Osma, donated to the Catholic University of Peru. Currently used as headquarters of the Instituto Riva Agüero, has an interesting archive and library. At the same time functions as Folk Art Museum of the above mentioned colleges.

Thirteen House of Coins:

Its construction dates from the mid eighteenth century is Rococo style and its facade is in keeping with the city, giving it a special charm. Its structure is a mezzanine floor, keeping your doors, windows and original bars, made with an excellent design.
Currently, the House of Thirteen Coins functions as a tourist restaurant of the same name.

All colonial tradition of the past still present in Lima!

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