PLAZA MAYOR - PLAZA DE ARMAS
Petit Futé's opinion on PLAZA MAYOR - PLAZA DE ARMAS
It is probably one of the most beautiful squares of Peru, where the marks of the political and religious power are concentrated (cathedral, town hall and seat of the government). Here reigns like an enchantment: it is there that Francisco Pizarro created the city, by tracing, it is said, with his rapier, a checkerboard materializing the streets. The government palace was built on the ruins of the house of Tauli Chusco, cacique of the Rímac; the cathedral on the site of the Inca temple dedicated to the puma; and the Cabildo, the municipal council, replaced the house of an envoy of the Inca. The plaza was the scene of all the country's political events, starting with the assassination of the city's founder on the steps of his palace. The plaza was also used as an arena for bullfights (the first took place in 1540) and public executions.
Every day at noon, the crowd gathers at the gate to watch the changing of the guard to the sound of El condor pasa. Next to the palace, the equestrian statue of Pizarro crowds the small square of the same name. At the other corner, the Casa del Oídor with its long green balcony, the oldest house in the square, and the Palacio Episcopal with its carved wooden balconies are not to be missed. On another side, facing the cathedral, the Municipalidad, rebuilt in 1944 in the neo-colonial style, is a beautiful building with wooden balconies. It has a popular festive atmosphere and many folkloric events on weekends or during national events.