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Alameda de los descalzos | What to see in Lima

Home / Travel Blog / Alameda de los descalzos | What to see in Lima
Alameda de los descalzos | What to see in Lima

The Alameda de los Descalzos is an old promenade located in the Rímac district. It was built in 1611 by Viceroy Juan de Mendoza y Luna, Marquis of Montesclaros. It is located at the end of Alcázar Avenue, approximately 900 meters north of Lima's Plaza de Armas.

 

Built in 1611 in the likeness of the Alameda de Hércules in Seville, a public garden created in 1574. The Alameda de los Descalzos in Lima was rebuilt in 1770 by Viceroy Manuel Amat y Juniet.

 

It had three stone fountains with water jets and benches. Eight rows of trees were placed to form seven streets, three of which were so wide that six carriages could roll through them in a row, and one through the other four streets. At the beginning it was called “Alameda Grande” having had the aforementioned Alameda de Sevilla as its model. It became the first elongated urban space with rows of trees destined for Lima's social life.

 

The oral tradition of Lima collects stories that furtive encounters between forbidden lovers took place in this place, where the girls of the time, accompanied on their walks by the chaperones, brushed against their suitors without even looking at them.

 

It is the cradle of famous stories about secrets, mischievous smiles and the graceful walk of the coquetry of the famous covered Lima in their eager and seductive walks of gentlemen in love. It is also witness to burning stories and romantic memories, the most famous: the romance between Viceroy Amat and Perricholi, who were the talk of the demure society ladies of the time.

 

In 1856, President Ramón Castilla gave it a new and definitive unitary outline by ordering the installation of a wrought iron gate imported from England, giving it the romantic touch of the early 18th century. Large entrance gates were also placed. On the sides, 12 marble statues from Carrara (Italy), 100 elegantly aligned marble benches, planters with iron bases, a gazebo, 12 gas lanterns, and 6 statues were placed on stone pedestals. small ones that represent Greek gods, also made of Carrara marble and 50 beautiful ornamental vases of wrought iron by the artisans of the time. The statues represent the 12 signs of the zodiac in the form of characters from Greek mythology.

 

Its perspective is the Convent and the Church of the Descalzos, at the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal. On its sides are the churches of the Virgen del Patrocinio and Santa Liberata. It has a length of at least four hundred meters.

 

According to Colonial chroniclers, its original design, as already mentioned, consisted of three streets, two lateral ones for carriages and a central one for pedestrians. There were three fountains, donated by citizen Agustin Hipolito de Landaburu, and eight rows of trees that offered shade and coolness to walkers.

 

It is also said that, at night, ghosts of widows, suicides, people who died in the Inquisition or mysterious congregations of ghosts parade around the mall.

 

Data of interest

This emblematic space in the Rímac district was created by Viceroy Juan de Mendoza y Luna in 1611 and is inspired by the Alameda de Hércules in Seville and beautifully adorned with fine marble sculptures.

 

Throughout its history, it underwent different renovations, the most relevant being the one carried out in 1856, where marble statues representing the twelve signs of the zodiac, benches, decorative vases and lanterns were included.

 

From here you will have a privileged view of the Convent and Church of the Descalzos, the Cerro San Cristóbal and the churches of the Virgen del Patrocinio and Santa Liberata.

 

Decoration and beauty

On the other hand, this place has been, like the water walk, the favorite meeting point for couples from Lima, among them nothing more and nothing less than Viceroy Amata himself and Juniet and Miquita, better known as Perricholi, a love that was born and rocked colonial Lima.

 

Zodiac statues

The Alameda de los descalzos was without a doubt one of the most beautiful spots that Rimac and of course Lima had, in this area iron was brought to limit its edges, in addition to 12 statues that symbolize the twelve signs of the zodiac and both were the glamor of this place that were brought nothing more and nothing less than from Italy itself.

 

Additionally, its fine benches were made of marble today we can find that there are approximately 100 benches in addition to this we can also find some charming 50 vases that are part of the decoration of the alameda.

 

The restoration of the Rímac sculptures: The Gods of the Alameda

The Municipality of Lima has been restoring the 18 Carrara marble sculptures located in the traditional Alameda de los Descalzos, in the Rímac district.

 

The recovery work consists of cleaning each of the sculptural pieces and recovering their original values, through a specialized process depending on the degree of deterioration of the sculptures, as a result of environmental pollution, the passage of time and vandalism. (which have not been few). Part of the procedure, by the way, consists of the restitution of missing elements.

 

The Big Alameda

Built at the request of Viceroy Juan de Mendoza y Luna, who ordered its creation in 1611, the originally called 'Alameda Grande' was built with the aim of embellishing the path that led to the Descalzos Convent (1595), another of the most landmarks of the district. Its original design was inspired by the Alameda de Hércules (1574), located in Seville, and caused it to be considered the first urban space in the City of Kings to have an elongated shape and be flanked by rows of trees. In fact, its original conception included eight rows of trees that formed seven streets: three were so wide that six carriages could roll in a row, and the other four streets, one.

 

The sculptures that have been recovered by the Municipality of Lima were included in the remodeling of the space by former President Ramón Castilla during his second term in office, in 1856. Twelve Carrara marble statues were installed on the sides and along the avenue. stone pedestals. Those have a particular duality: they represent the zodiacal signs through characters from Greek mythology.

 

During the remodeling commissioned by former President Castilla, 100 marble benches, planters with iron bases, a gazebo and 50 ornamental iron vases were also installed, in addition to an English iron fence, placed around the alameda.

 

The restoration of the sculptures of the Alameda de los Descalzos is part of a plan that also includes the recovery and enhancement of the intangible heritage of the CHL: this space in the heart of Rímac will be the future setting for the October Fair, a festival of the Identity Calendar that last October was held again in the capital after more than 70 years, that time in the Santa Rosa and Nicolás de Ribera el Viejo passages. Its next transfer to the Alameda de los Descalzos and the Paseo de Aguas will allow the celebration to be increased, including traditions such as the paso horses, the tenth recitals, the proclamations of Rosa Mercedes and musical contests, among others.

 

Water Tour

It is said that Viceroy Manuel Amat y Juniet, very much in love, asked Micaela Villegas, the "Perricholi" what gift he wanted to receive and she told him:

 

"I want the moon and the stars at my feet"

 

The request was fulfilled, one day, once the most important part of the walk was over, the viceroy sat Perricholi on the edge of the pool at night and asked her: What time reflected in the waters? She answered that the moon and the stars, so she had the sky at her feet, reflected in the Paseo de Aguas that her lover had built for her.

 

The work began in 1770, at first it was called Paseo de la Narbonne, due to an old water system existing in the French city of that name, the Viceroy himself designed everything, who could not see the work completed, remaining unfinished, It has an arcade and a large water mirror, this was supplied from the river, through a channel, thanks to a circulating system, the water was raised to fall as a waterfall. The idea was to have gardens and fountains around it, which could not be realized due to the return of the viceroy to Spain and the opposition of the residents of the area.

 

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