A visit to the Torre Tagle Palace, house of peruvian diplomacy
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A visit to the Torre Tagle Palace, house of peruvian diplomacy

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A visit to the Torre Tagle Palace, house of peruvian diplomacy

The Torre Tagle Palace is an extraordinary architectural expression of the Viceroyalty of Peru and, since 1918, the headquarters of the Peruvian Chancellery.


It is located near the Plaza Mayor of Lima and was built in 1735 for José Bernardo de Tagle Bracho y Pérez de la Riva, who was appointed Marquis of Torre Tagle by King Felipe V of Spain, due to his important career in commerce. the militia and the service of the Crown. Originally from Santander, Spain, upon settling in Peru he held military positions such as Governor of the South Sea War Expeditions and Perpetual General Paymaster of the Presidio of Callao. He died in 1740 at the age of 96. His successor was his son Tadeo de Tagle y Bracho, second Marquis of Torre Tagle.


Its last colonial owner, José Bernardo de Tagle y Portocarrero, fourth Marquis, proclaimed Independence in Trujillo in 1820 and was a main collaborator of José de San Martín. He held the Supreme Command of the nascent Republic up to four times.


Its walls have hosted international conferences, provided asylum and refuge in times of war and housed an important artistic collection, owned by Manuel Ortiz de Zevallos.


All those facets are synthesized today in this emblematic monument of Peruvian diplomacy, which combines its high official functions with the conservation of a notable interior artistic heritage that has not stopped increasing with the passage of time.


It is located at 363 Jirón Ucayali, on the old San Pedro Street, also known as Compañía de Jesús Street.



The Torre Tagle Palace, an extraordinary architectural expression of the viceroyalty and current headquarters of the Chancellery, was built at the beginning of the 18th century and completed in 1735 for Don José de Tagle Bracho who was designated Marquis of Torre Tagle by King Charles V of Spain on 26 November 1730, thus making him the founder of this Marquisate. Originally from Santander -Spain-, upon settling in Peru he held military positions such as Governor of the South Sea War Expeditions and Perpetual General Paymaster of the Presidio of Callao. This knight died in 1740 at the advanced age of 96, ten years after the Crown of Spain had granted him the title of First Marquis of Torre Tagle. He took the following motto as a badge of his coat of arms:


Tagle was called the one that the serpent killed and he married the infanta


This shield can be seen at the top of the exterior façade of the palace, which is in the Andalusian baroque style and shows carved stone porticos and arches and two artistic Moorish balconies made of carved cedar and mahogany wood.



Located at number 363 of Jirón Ucayali, adjacent to the Plaza Mayor of Lima, the mansion has two carved wooden balconies, large rooms and opulent staircases and decorative tiles that demonstrate the Moorish and Spanish influence.


It has fourteen rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a small chapel, with a fire-gilded baroque altar, adorned with mirrors and elegant rooms, the decorative and interesting tiles (dating from 1735) show a mix of Spanish and Moorish influences. One of the rooms, called the Main Room, displays the portraits of the Torre Tagle family, one of them shows Don José Bernardo de Tagle Bracho, the first Marquis of Torre Tagle who became, in conclusion, the architect of the palace, according to the inscription on the painting:


«The Lord Don José Bernardo de Tagle y Bracho, first Marquis of Torre-Tagle, captain of light horses, Spanish lances from the Purén fort, in the conquests of the kingdom of Chile. Governor of the South Sea war expeditions. Perpetual General Paymaster of the Presidio of Callao and his royal army, and founder of the mayorazgos and patronages of his House.


Another of the paintings shows his wife (she died in 1761). One of the palace's greatest attractions is its blue and red carriage from the 18th century, which was used by the Marquis of Torre Tagle. The second patio was used for the stables, services and garages, with carriages of the time.


Torre Tagle has been the family residence of the President of the Republic Mr. José Bernardo de Tagle, whose name it bears, and is a place where important events occurred in the beginning of the Republic. Many years later, as if following a historical destiny, it became the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, with it, the antonomastic name of Peruvian diplomacy. In this house the high interests of our country have been defended, and are constantly being defended, and from there its recognized and indisputable values ​​are projected abroad.


Many have praised the Palace, the notable arches, coffered ceilings and balconies that amaze visitors with their unique beauty.


The façade of the Torre Tagle Palace is the most beautiful and imposing of the viceregal city, and even the most splendid of those preserved from that time in Spanish South America, it presents a notable and asymmetrical façade, a characteristic that gives it agility and harmony, with a carved doorway, in stone in the first body and stucco in the second, in the most charming Lima baroque, in the upper part of which the noble coat of arms of the Torre Tagle family stands out, its two high floors, the design of its great baroque façade, the grace and luxury of its balconies and the movement of its cornices, moldings, interlacings and reliefs give it a singular presence, having become the archetypal residence of the splendor of aristocratic life in the 18th century in Lima, that is of the capital of the Spanish Empire in South America.


On its second floor, it is adorned with two typical balconies - the most beautiful and best preserved from the colonial period - made of wood carved in cedar and mahogany and reminiscent of Mudejar, highlighting the asymmetry of the façade, since one, the one on the right, It has three sections and the one on the left seven, both are completely closed with shutters with lattices, both balconies, which reflect the transition from the Andalusian Mudejar style to the Spanish-American Baroque, have corbels, or carved wooden supports, with motifs of Hindustani inspiration. .


The balconies on the façade of the Torre Tagle Palace (interior view) are the most beautiful examples of the 18th century


The windows in the lower part of the house are simple and have wrought iron bars whose austerity contrasts with the ornate style of the balconies. The wooden door, of impressive size, decorated with bronze nails and adorned with two regular-sized knockers, opens to a hallway, which has four segmental arches sculpted in stone with a stone floor, in the hallway, to the right and left, you can see small steps that the ladies used to climb onto their horses without difficulty.


On the platforms that crown them you can notice that the stone pieces are joined by copper stars. Near this place a chain was placed that signified the right of Asylum, a privilege that the Palace of the Marquises of Torre Tagle had, and which some churches in Lima also enjoyed at that time. The walls of the hallway are decorated with Sevillian tiles and the ceiling is notably coffered.


The hallway leads to a first patio, with a spacious entrance, spacious, bright and surrounded by elegant balustrades, arcades and Moorish-style columns, conceived as the vital center of the entire architectural complex that gravitates towards it. The style is mainly Andalusian Baroque with obvious Mudejar influence in the two floors surrounding the central patio.


The upper floor is reached by a spacious and opulent staircase, at the entrance of which there is a notable stone doorway with three-lobed arches that, like those on the upper floor, exhibit Andalusian Mudejar influence.


On the ceiling of the staircase of the Torre Tagle Palace you can see the Marquis' coat of arms, composed of three quarters in which a knight, a snake and a maiden can be distinguished, which symbolize the nickname: Tagle was called the one who He always killed and married the Infanta. The upper floor of this family home shows elegant galleries with tiled plinths, railings with cocobolo balusters and fine mosaic floors.


Its four corridors are surrounded by beautiful tiles. Its railings with small mahogany wood balusters, naturally worked by hand, deeply impress us with their symmetry, making us think of the high quality of the Peruvian builder of that time. We have counted more than two hundred balusters. Such balustrades are crowned by small, well-proportioned arches. The two centrals are not symmetrical.


The variety in size is so small that it goes unnoticed. They do not have the difference that is seen in their balconies, but, if observed carefully, they give the architectural complex a special life by breaking the monotony of its symmetry.


This environment has an unmistakable flavor of Mudejar -Arabic- architecture.


The main corridor, the one that takes us to the large room, has an appreciable length that allows us to move around with great ease. On its walls appear the first “poyos” or “arrimaderos” attached like all of them to its walls and which were witnesses of pleasant talks, long rests or political meetings. We also find these benches in the other corridors and balconies.


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