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Plaza de Armas: the jewel of the historic centre

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This vast area, also called Plaza Mayor and once the heart of the city, was founded by Francisco Pizarro in the 16th century.

At the high point of the Spanish Empire, the Plaza de Armas was the strategic centre of Lima. Although no original building has survived, the impressive bronze fountain, which has adorned the centre since 1650, ranks among the most photographed monuments in the city.

Some public buildings are of interest, including the Archbishop's Palace, with its exuberant colonial style and remarkable Moorish-style balcony. To the north east is the Governor's Palace, the residence of the head of state, a majestic Baroque-style building built in 1937. Very popular with visitors, the Changing of the Guard takes place every day at noon.

Soldiers in uniforms conduct disciplined movements, goose-stepping to the rhythm of ‘El Cóndor Pasa' by the Peruvian composer Daniel Alomía Robles. The palace is not open to the public, except for rare exhibits requiring a reservation 48 hours in advance.

Plaza de Armas
Jirón de la Unión Cuadra 3
Lima 1

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