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HISTORICAL LIMA

Lima Balconies

To Related image in the Multimedia Gallery In Lima there were neither palaces nor important residences as among the nobility in Spain. Excepting the Palace of Torre Tagle - unique palatine mansion boasting a luxurious exterior and which together with the Quinta de Presa was built after the tremendous earthquake of 1746.

The remaining architectural examples are only beautiful mansions.

Indisputably, the distinguishing architectural factor in Lima is the balcony. Although there has long existed an argument about its architecture, it is the Lima symbol par excellence. lt is a "box" balcony with jalousies, of Arab origin but of a purely Lima nature.

During the 18th century balcones To Related image in the Multimedia Gallery were small, decorated and charming. They blended with the profuse decoration of the doorways, and were built against walls in tones of red, ochre or yellow, with transparent green or blue windows. But what really distinguished Lima for many years was its women, the fascinating "tapadas" wearing concealing shawl and robe.

They walked gently from the forecourt to the noble patios of the Lima mansions, and gently crossed the narrow streets of the city and the baroque houses and squares of the Inquisition, Buena Muerte, Mercedarias, El Carmen and Quinta Heeren. It is in those places that the charm of a legendary tapada may be found in a Limeña of today.

This evocation would confirm what author and reformer Flora Tristán said about these women: "The Limeña dressed as a tapada must be considered the queen of the earth."

If it is true that the city has shapes and colors, it also has the typical aromas of its flowers: geraniums, roses, jazmine - in its varieties - honeysuckle, mignonette and the scent of oleander.

Its flavors are offered by Lima's extraordinary gastronomy with strong African and Spanish influence, without forgetting Chinese and Japanese contributions. Lima has become consecrated as the paradise of gourmets, who can here savor ají de gallina (chicken with chilies), causa limeña (yellow-potato mold with stuffing), anticuchos(shishkebabs of beef heart), cebiche (fish marinated in sharp lemon and onion), tamales, and confections that inspired the famous term "Limeño mazamorrero" from the delicious mazamorra morada made with purple corn, pineapple, quince, apple, plums, cloves, cinnamon and thickened with purple yam, plus the Lima talent necessary to reach the exact degree of cooking required for this ambrosia.

This, then, is Lima, a city that arouses passionate emotions, that is full of history and culture, that makes any who walk through her streets feel the magic of times gone by and the certainty of not regretting having visited the city of kings that today begins to rise again to show the world that it still holds the fortitude of its builders.


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