THE TRIBUNAL OF THE HOLY INQUISITION
There is little or no doubt that the Holy Office or Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition has been one of the most debated and worst comprehended through all times. It was instituted by King Philip the Second on February 7th in 1569 and one year later started its activities in Peru as a provincial subsidiary to the Consejo de la Suprema y General Inquisición Espanola.
The first inquisitors were the lawyer Serván de Cerezuela and the doctor Andrés de Bustamante. Nevertheless, it was the former who in fact took the task in the District of Lima because the latter died during his trip from Spain to Lima. With them were named a prosecutor, a secretary and a notary. With the passing of times, the number of inquisitors and lesser personnel rapidly grew.
Its first seat was the Church of San Agustín, but soon it became apparent that the place was insufficient in size. It was then that the attorney Cerezuela asked to acquire the by then residence of the oidor Paredes, in front of the Church of La Merced, which was done. Some years later this precinct ceased to be suitable, due to the "curiosity of the people of Lima" that attracted too many unwanted visitors that, straining their senses, tried to get acquainted with what was happening in its interiors.
So in 1584 it moved to the small square del Estanque, known today as Plaza Bolívar Square. The construction consisted of the Courtrooms, twelve excommunicated jails, a Camara del Secreto or Chamber of the Secret with its -still preserved- brick vaults, the Sala del Secreto or Hall of the Secret, Sala de Respeto or Hall of Respect, Sala de Audiencias or Hall of Hearings, plus offices, a house for the inquisitor, rooms for the warden and for the doorman and a sumptuous Chapel with a door to the Square itself.
The Tribunal was endowed to fight against the heresies and to prosecute Protestantism, Judaism, as well as blasphemies and all kind of sexual deviations. Its sole objective was the white population, weather Spaniard or foreign, the indigenous people were excluded from its jurisdiction by express orders of the King.
The scholars presume that along its history, the Tribunal must have processed at least three thousand citizens from Peru, Bolivia and other countries that conformed the Vice Royalty of Peru
MUSEUM OF THE CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC.
In this Museum the visitor will get a close look to the history of the Congress of the Republic that represents the evolution through time of the Legislative Power starting from its beginnings, on September 20th of 1822, to the present days.
The Museum also keeps an interesting collection of documents concerning the Congress of the Republic of Peru.
The tourists visiting the Museum are attended by expert guides that will diligently explain the history and functioning of the Tribunal of the Inquisition as of the Congress of the Republic. These guided visits are done in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese.
There can be acquired the several publications edited by the Congress of the Republic, as well as T-shirts, magnetic directories, pocket belts, etc. It also contains a coffee shop that will make the visit more pleasant.
548 Jiron. Junín Street - Plaza Bolívar Square. At 300 metres from the Plaza Mayor Main Square.
(01) 428-7980 apart 2537.
Schedule of visits:
Mondays to Sundays, 9:00 am to 5:15 pm.