Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Galleries and Museums

Galleries and Museums, Lima, Peru (A)

The galleries and museums of central Lima cover a broad array of interest - from art to fascinating history to geology to bullfighting. This tour will introduce you to an interesting cross-section of Peruvian culture in sites ranging from quirky and disturbing to beautiful and ornate.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Galleries and Museums
Guide Location: Peru » Lima
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 4.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Author: Jim Reynoldson
Author Bio: Jim Reynoldson is an avid traveler and writer who grew up in Oregon. He enjoys hiking, camping, and sight-seeing throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museo Taurino
  • Museo y Parque de la Muralla
  • Museo de la Inquisicion
  • Museo Banco Central de Reserva del Peru
  • Museo de los Combatientes del Morro de Arica
  • Museo Andres del Castillo
  • Museo de Arte Italiano
  • Museo de Arte de Lima
1
Museo Taurino

1) Museo Taurino

This odd museum is located at the Plaza de Acho, which is Lima’s primary bullfighting ring, and focuses upon the role of bullfighting in Peruvian culture. Built in 1766, this ring was the first in the Spanish New World, and was once the largest such ring in the world. Regardless how one might feel about the morality of bullfighting as a sport, the museum is interesting – full of thematic artworks by Picasso and others, as well as various artifacts (like a blood-soaked costume – complete with gore-holes – worn by a matador killed by a bull). Other artifacts include ornate costumes, weaponry, and engravings.
2
Museo y Parque de la Muralla

2) Museo y Parque de la Muralla

This museum and park sits just a couple of blocks northeast of the Plaza de Armas in central Lima. Stretching along the Rio Rimac, the park consists of the remains of 300 meters of 17th century “muralla” (city walls) that once protected the city center from pirates. The wall was built under the direction of Viceroy Melchor de Navarra between 1684 and 1687. Excavation of the walls unearthed numerous artifacts, which are on display in the in-park museum. Focusing on the entire history of Lima, the museum contains exhibits including ceramics, building materials, and artworks. The surrounding park has become a site to host municipal festivals and events, and there is an onsite restaurant, as well.
3
Museo de la Inquisicion

3) Museo de la Inquisicion

Next to the Plaza Bolivar, this museum is housed in a building rife with morbid and fascinating history. Between 1570 and 1820, the building was used by the Spanish Inquisition to imprison and torture captives. The basement – where most of the torture occurred – has disturbing displays of waxwork figures being stretched on racks, having feet burned, and enduring numerous other inhumanities. After this violent period – and before it became a museum – this building also became the senate building. A university library is upstairs, and tours of the museum begin very often in a number of languages – including Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, and Italian.
4
Museo Banco Central de Reserva del Peru

4) Museo Banco Central de Reserva del Peru

Opened in 2004 and housed in the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, this museum’s focus is upon pre-Columbian archaeology and Peruvian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The permanent exhibits include artworks by Jose Gil de Castro, Pancho Fierro, Ignacio Merino, and Francisco Laso. The pre-Columbian exhibit includes art and artifacts from cultures such as the Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca and Inca – and date back as far as 1500 BC. Temporary exhibits have included works using silver in masks, musical instruments, crowns, etc. A collection of historic Peruvian currency is also on display, with coins dating back to the 16th century, as well as the bank’s old high-security vault.
5
Museo de los Combatientes del Morro de Arica

5) Museo de los Combatientes del Morro de Arica

Located just a couple of blocks northwest of the Plaza de Armas in central Lima, this patriotic museum commemorates the soldiers who fought in defense of the Morro de Arica against Chilean forces in 1880. The museum is housed in a mansion that was the birthplace of Colonel Francisco Bolognesi Cervantes, Grand Marshal of Peru, and was opened in 1975. The exhibits consist of paintings depicting the war and combatants, as well as artifacts like weapons, uniforms, documents, furniture, etc. Many of the rooms are dedicated to specific individual soldiers, while others commemorate entire military units involved in the dispute over the port of Arica – which was won by Chile and remains part of northern Chile today.
6
Museo Andres del Castillo

6) Museo Andres del Castillo

This interesting museum was opened by the Castillo family and named in memory of the founders’ son, Andres del Castillo (1985-2006) – a student of Mining Engineering. Housed in the colonial-era Casa Belen, the museum consists of exhibits in Peruvian mining, Chancay ceramics, and ancient clothing – as well as an exhibit presenting the history of Casa Belen itself as far back as 1606. For rock hounds, the minerals in the mining exhibits are fascinating – especially the ornate crystals. For historians, the exhibits on the Chancay – with artifacts dating back as far as 900 AD – and textiles are wonderful. The mansion is beautiful, and the museum is well lit, well organized, and informative.
7
Museo de Arte Italiano

7) Museo de Arte Italiano

Founded in 1921, this museum is housed in an Italian Renaissance-style building designed by the Milan architect Gaetano Moretti in the Parque de la Cultura on land donated by Lima’s Italian community to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the city. The artistic focus of this museum is Italian and European art, primarily from the early 20th century. The elaborate façade pays tribute to Italian cities and historical events in Venetian mosaics, and the incredible wrought-iron door was created by Alessandro Mazzucotelli. The Museo de Arte Italiano is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, and also contains a large art library.
8
Museo de Arte de Lima

8) Museo de Arte de Lima

Located in an ornate building that was designed by Alexandre Eiffel within central Lima’s Parque de la Cultura, the city’s primary art museum houses a large collection of artwork spanning about 3000 years of history, as well as colonial furniture, pre-Columbian artifacts, and pottery. Exhibit art themes include “3000 years of art in Peru”, pre-Columbian, colonial (especially the Cusquena school), Republican-era, contemporary, and avant-garde. With over 7000 exhibits, the museum is enormous – with an onsite filmoteca showing films most evenings, as well as a gift shop and coffee shop. This museum is closed on Mondays – but open 10am until 8pm on Tuesday through Sunday (except Saturday, when it closes at 5pm). To end this tour, simply take a bus or taxi northbound for central Lima’s Plaza de Armas, or southbound to Miraflores.

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