The Cathedral of Lima is one of the most outstanding buildings in South America and without a doubt the most important of all the Catholic buildings that are preserved in the Peruvian capital. Despite the fact that the building has been the victim of multiple earthquakes throughout its history,the truth is that the echoes of what was one of the most beautiful buildings in Peru can still be heard today.
The one that would be known as the first cathedral of Lima -which was really nothing more than a small church or hermitage- was commissioned by Francisco Pizarro, in fact the conqueror himself was the one who laid the first stone of the construction in the year 1535. For its location, the Spanish chose the same place that was occupied by a primitive indigenous oratory and the palace of Prince Sinchi Puma. The building was dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and inaugurated in 1540, however only twelve years later Lima had a new building that served as a Cathedral and that finally also turned out to be too modest for the growing number of faithful.
It was a third church inaugurated in 1598 by Bishop Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo that would finally become the starting point of the current cathedral. Its inauguration took more than ninety years, something unheard of for the dizzying pace in which the constructions were carried out in the so-called New World and whose cause was the multiple earthquakes thatdevastated the territory and that more than once collapsed part of the progress of the cathedral. For its construction, a floor plan inspired by the cathedral of Seville with five naves was chosen, one that acted as a central nave wider than the others, two side ones and the other two destined for multiple private chapels.
Regarding its stylistic classification, we must point out that the well-known cathedral represents the artistic evolution that the Spaniards imposed after their arrival, although in the most primitive traces of the construction You can appreciate the echoes of late Gothic, the cathedral reflects both Renaissance and Plateresque construction elements as well as decoration inspired by Baroque forms, while the towers of the façade respond in turn to neoclassical styling.
In the roofing system, ribbed vaults with multiple intersecting ribs were chosen, but they were raised in wood and plaster in order to alleviate the weight of the walls and prevent them from collapsing in the event of an earthquake.
The Cathedral of Lima has the first altarpiece-type façade erected in the entire viceroy alty, in it we find three streets with streets with three entrances to the temple, of which the central one It is known as the Puerta del Perdón and is the oldest of the entire Cathedral. However, this main portal is not the only point of access to the interior of the temple, the cathedral has more than seven entrance doors, being the Christian construction with the most accesses in Peru.