Lima is one of the most visited cities in the world, full of attractions for different travelers, including history lovers. The city is filled with stories! Some of which are underrated and unknown by the majority of tourists. Although equally interesting, these uncommon historical events are worth learning and visiting.
Here are four historical events that people hardly know about Lima, Peru:
The Oldest Civilization in the Americas was in the north of Lima
Two hundred kilometers from Lima is the oldest known civilization in the Americas, Caral. Caral is located near the sea in fertile land called the Supe Valley. This ancient civilization created mud brick structures And ancient ziggurats. It was estimated to have started at least 5000 years ago, the same timeline as the Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian civilizations. The people of Caral had Effective farming, fishing, and construction techniques during their time that influenced later cultures in South America.
Now a world heritage site, you can visit Caral and see where American civilization started.
The Port of Lima Clashed with Great Pirates
El Callao was the principal seaport of the viceroyalty of Peru during the Spanish occupation. It was the first Spanish port in the Americas and the most important one then. Consequently, it caught the attention of pirates to plunder and pillage. In response, the viceroyalty built the Real Felipe Fortress, one of the most expensive buildings in Spanish colonies, now turned into Peru's military museum. It's one of the strongest fortresses built by the Spanish colonies, and the structure still stands today.
Sir Francis Drake, one of the most notorious pirates of his time, was said to have raided the port to rescue his imprisoned crew in 1579. He was the main reason the fortress was built.
Lima Had a Great Struggle During the Spanish Inquisition
Lima is filled with colorful and artistic history influenced by the Spanish occupation, but don't think Peru has forgotten the dark times. Under the Spanish Inquisition in 1568, The colonies of Spain, which includes Peru, were subject to follow the Spanish government and faith. People in South America were imprisoned and tortured for not believing in the Christian faith or following the Spanish government. Those deemed criminals or heretics were sometimes burned alive at the stake.
Peru still remembers this history not to cling to the pain or anger but to remind themselves and the future that their forefathers have struggled and fought to obtain the freedom and the more peaceful, accepting way of life they are experiencing now.
Surfing was Invented Separately in Peru
Its commonly known that surfing originated in Hawaii as a "sport for kings," but did you also know that ancient cultures in Lima also invented surfing separately. The Mochica and Chimu ruins have uncovered that their fishermen used surfboard-like crafts to ride in and out of waves while fishing, translated as "riding waves."
Riding waves remained a part of Peruvian culture that the people of Lima have already been riding waves before any set rules or surfing tournaments. It's also great to note that Felipe Pomar, the first male surfing world champion, was a Peruvian who learned surfing in Lima.
Lima’s history is massive and beautiful, full of ups and downs, revealing the people's glory through the ages. You can read about Lima, Peru, or travel and experience the beautiful city first-hand!