Arches and Old Bones, Central Lima
Lima Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
In the morning we headed to downtown Lima, to Plaza mayor, the historical area of town. The square is surrounded by stately 16th century buildings, including La Cathedral and the Palacio de Gobierno.
There is a lot of police and military presence in the area -- guards, policemen, trucks, army dudes... I saw a big weird looking truck with a thing that looked like a nozzle on it.
Me to armed guard standing by truck: "Para Fuego?"
Armed Guard: "No, ... is for.. how you say?... the people"
So the moral of this story is: if you ever find yourself in Plaza Mayor during a riot, be prepared to get wet.
The palace was closed to visitors, but there was an official sounding band playing Godfather type music outside and some tourists dancing nonsensically to the music.
The highlight of our day in Central Lima was the San Francisco Monastary. At first sight, the monastary is just a pretty yellow colonial building, like many others, but the exquisite interiors, well preserved murals and dark catacombs inside are a real treat.
One highlight of the monastary was the library, a beautifully well preserved room with a set of gorgeous, tightly spiraled staircases on each side. Rows of books stretch out before you, and you can just imagine monks studying there for hundreds of years.
The cathedral interior of San Francisco monastary is really pretty as well.
Possibly the most memorable part of the monastary was wandering through the catacombs by ourselves. Stacks of real human bones are piled in rooms along the dark, narrow passageways underground. The spooky corridors twisted and turned through several levels, through low passages and dark rooms. At one point, there was a weird, large round six foot high structure thing in one room. We couldn't see above it, so we climbed up to take a closer look. Inside was a huge circle of skulls!