INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT JORGE CHAVEZ
The Avenida Faucett Avenue, whereupon also stands the Carmen de la Legua Church, is also the road to access the International Airport Jorge Chavez.
It is regarded as one of the most important ones of this part of the continent. It is the entrance and exit way to both National and International flights, and presents a fine looking design and up to date facilities.
TRADITIONAL URBAN CENTRE
If the traveller keeps driving through the Avenida Colonial Avenue towards the West, he will presently arrive to the City of El Callao proper, accessing it through the Plaza Grau Square, that serves as an anteroom to both the Port and the Capitanía General del Puerto- General Port Captaincy.
To the right side of this Square depart two streets. The first one heads towards the main entrance towards the Empresa Nacional de Puertos - National Port Company, where are located the loading harbour and the warehouses. The second will take the traveller to the historical Main Iglesia Matriz Church of El Callao and to the Plaza Gálvez Square.
To the left of the Plaza Grau Square are located the Museo Naval Museum and the avenue that connects the historical centre of El Callao with the aged neighbourhood of Chucuito and the welcoming District of La Punta.
GENERAL CAPTAINCY OF CALLAO
This organisation, adjoined to the Marina de Guerra del Perú (War Navy of Peru), had its origins back in the year of 1791, when it was created observing a Royal Order. Two years later, the rest of the Captaincies and Ports throughout the Colony became institutionalised.
In the modern times, and with the purpose of controlling the Captaincies services, the Marina Mercante (Merchant Navy) was created and also the Industrias Marítimas y Pesqueras (Maritime and Fishing Industries). On September 23rd 1969 the Cuerpo de Capitanías y Guardacostas - The Captaincy and Coast Guard Corps - was created under the authority of the General Direction. Its premises is a good looking building that rises facing to the sea.
Some traditional passages, balconies and galleries have been recently recovered from decay and oblivion.
The Plaza Grau Square.
On the docks of El Callao, the fishermen arriving from their daily duties personally sell their products.
KING FELIPE FORTRESS.
An authentic jewel of military architecture of the Colony, its construction was the result of the imperious necessity of defending the Port and thus the City of Lima from the pirates, which put difficulties to the commerce between Spain and its Colonies, and also to avoid the looting such as that to which the treasure ships in the harbour of El Callao were submitted to in the year of 1579 by Sir Francis Drake.
The construction itself was accomplished in several distinct stages.
The first attempt to raise some kind of defensive system came about in 1618, when the Viceroy Don Francisco de Borja demanded the construction of two platforms with six and seven cannons respectively.
He also established a detachment of 1,500 men and on the sea a small fleet of eight ships with 150 cannons.
Six years later, the Marquis of Guadalcázar ordered the Locality of El Callao to be surrounded by a trench made of adobe and brick, in addition to three platforms over the beach containing 50 cannons and a small fortress on the outskirts of the Town.
After the disastrous earthquake of 1746, which ravaged El Callao and the City of Lima, Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco entrusted the French mathematician and cosmographer Louis Godín with the design of a fortress.
The design presented by him was approved and the works started on January 16th, 1747. The task took 27 years and was finally inaugurated by Viceroy Manuel de Amat y Junient.
The resulting Fortress was named Real Felipe in honour to the King Phillip V of Spain.
During the times of the Independence Wars, it remained as the last stronghold of the Royalist army. Most renowned was the strong resistance performed by the Spanish brigadier Ramón Rodil.
In the year of 1823, the Fortress hosted the First Constitutional Congress.
The building would then serve as a political prison from 1826 to 1833. In 1833 it became the premises of the Customs Offices. The last military incident in which the Fortress took an active part, occurred during the Battle of El Callao, on May 2nd, 1866.
Its layout is shaped as an irregular pentagon, having on each of its corners triangular bastions, named El Rey (The King), La Reina (The Queen), San Felipe, San Carlos and San José. On each of these bastions was located a warehouse for ammunition and gunpowder built solidly enough to resist any kind of attack
The lateral walls of these triangles were named "flanks" and "curtains". The imaginary straight line between the corners of each bastion was called "Magistral". Only the bastions of the King and the Queen contained turrets, also called "Caballeros" or "Knights".
Each of these bastions is accessed by a small bridge and communicate across an embankment 22 metres wide, called "Camino de Ronda" or "Track of the Watch". The turret in the King's bastion has two circular platforms for artillery, the access to which is by a spiralled stairway.
The Turret of the Queen, on the other hand, has three stories and four platforms for artillery, reached across an internal net of stairs and corridors.
For the construction of the Fortress were employed five million cubic metres of solid material, obtained from the quarries of the San Lorenzo Island, as well as from Panama and from unearthed stones from former defensive facilities which were shattered by natural catastrophes.
A geological research has established that the materials employed in the construction of the walls of the fortress were quartzite and sandstone, put together with a mortar made of lime , water and eggs from the guano birds called calicante, giving as a result a very strongly bonded structure. It has actually resisted the passing of time as well as the forcefulness of men.
Since 1984, this Fortress has become the seat to the Museo del Ejército Peruano (Peruvian Army Museum), exhibiting war devices, military uniforms and weapons belonging to the Peruvian warriors of all times.
From the tour through its facilities, we can mention the Casa de la Mujer (House of the Woman), a hall that pays tribute to the uninterested services accomplished by women during warfare. There also can be seen a canvas painting depicting the so called La Rabona, name given to the ladies that followed the armies on behalf of their husbands during the war against Chile. Other places worth visiting are the rooms that exhibit scale models and diagrams re-enacting the heroic deeds accomplished by the Peruvian Army during Republican times.
It has been recently enabled a screening hall in order to visualise in a didactic way the history of Peru.
The Plaza Independencia Independence Square, at 100 metres from the Plaza Grau Square, El Callao.
All week long from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.