The Basilica Cathedral of Lima
The Basillica is a Roman
Catholic cathedral located in the Plaza
Mayor of downtown Lima, Peru. Construction began in 1535, the building has undergone many
reconstructions and transformation since, however it still retains its
colonial structure and facade.
Description: In keeping with the majority of cathedrals the front facade has three
large doorways. The main or central gateway is called the Portada del Perdón or the "door of forgiveness". Above the
doorway, instead of Lima's coat-of-arms, there appears the Peruvian seal, and the phrase
"Plus Ultra".There are also no less than fourteen side doors; one of which opens
on to Calle de Judíos (Street
of the Jews) and another on to the Patio de los Naranjos (Square of the
Oranges, connected to the Cathedral). At the rear there are two more entrances:
Apolonia and San
Cristóbal. Set on the front facade are sculptures of the Apostles and in the middle, the Sacred
Heart of Jesus. Adjoining the Cathedral are the Parroquia del Sagrario (one of the oldest ones in Lima) and the Archbishop's
Inside, along the side aisles, are a sequence of large paintings of the Via
Crucis, "Way of the Cross. Pope John
Paul II visited this cathedral on two occasions, in 1985 and 1988. This is
commemorated with signs at the entrance. In the left aisle, the first
chapel holds the ancient baptistery. Here can be seen a beautiful image of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, who
presides over the events during Cuaresm and Holy
Week. During a recent restoration, ancient pictures were found in this
chapel that are now able to be seen by the public. The next chapel is Capilla
de la Sagrada Familia (chapel of the Holy
Family), featuring figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Vargas Alzamora, Juan
de Mendoza, James
Landázuri Ricketts and Francisco Pizarro.
Timeline: The following chronological data is based on the work of the priest
18th of January 1535: The conqueror Francisco
Pizarro laid the first stone, carrying on his shoulders the first log used
in the construction of the Cathedral. The chosen location was between the Main
Plaza and the "Street of the Jews," ("Calle de Judíos", in
1538: The construction of the first church was completed. It was
mainly built of adobe, primitive, small and
11th of March 1540: The church was officially
inaugurated by Francisco Pizarro
1542: The cathedral underwent several improvements and minor
extensions, paid for by García
17th of September 1543: Bishop Jerónimo
de Loayza signed the "Lima Cathedral Construction Act" and selected its
12th of February 1546: The church was upgraded to a
Metropolitan Church, and "The Kings" became an Archdiocese. This is done by the papal bull Super Universa Orbis of
1551: Inauguration of the second Cathedral by Archbishop Jerónimo
1564: Archbishop Jerónimo de Loayza assigned the task of
redesigning the Cathedral to Alonso
Beltrán, with instructions to base his design on the Cathedral
of Seville in
1572: Work on the third Cathedral began with the demolition of the
adobe walls of the second cathedral, but the project was quickly
abandoned because of the high
- 1598: The Renaissance architect Francisco
Becerra reduced the plans to only 3 aisles, plus 2 chapels. Works on the
third Cathedral were recommenced.
- February 2, 1604: Archbishop Toribio
Alfonso de Mogrovejo inaugurated the first part of the third
- 1609: An Earthquake destroyed the vaults of the recently built structure.
- 1614-1615: The old Renaissance vaults were rebuilt at a lower
height in a Gothic style.
- 15th of August 1622: First Mass in the finished third
- 19th of October 1625: Archbishop Gonzalo
de Ocampo consecrated the third Lima Cathedral.
- 1626: Juan
Martínez de Arona and Pedro
de Noguera designed the main portal as it is today.
- 1687: Another
earthquake destroyed the vaults of the Cathedral.
- 7th of December 1697: Reconstruction of the Cathedral
finished and it was officially inaugurated.
- 1732: Two additional portals were added.
- 1746: An Earthquake destroyed many vaults and pillars.
- 29th of May 1755: The first part of the rebuilt
Cathedral was inaugurated.
- 8th of December 1758: The second part of the rebuilt
Cathedral was inaugurated.
- 8th of December 1778: Archibishop Diego
Antonio de Parada inaugurated the renovated interior of the Cathedral.
- 1794-1797: Construction of the current towers of the Cathedral,
designed by the architect Ignacio
- 17th of January 1893: The Cathedral was closed because
it was in disrepair and in dire need of restoration.
- 7th of January 1896: Internal renovation works were
- 6th of January 1898: Inauguration of renovated
- 1940: Earthquake. Restoration by Emilio
- 2005: New lights were installed.
- 29th of September 2010. We visited
ALL IN ALL UNIQUE FEATURES IN THIS BEAUTIFUL