Cathedral of Lima

Cathedral of Lima

Cathedral of Lima
Basic information
Location Lima District, Lima, Peru
Geographic coordinates 12°02′47.30″S 77°01′48.13″W / 12.0464722°S 77.0300361°W / -12.0464722; -77.0300361Coordinates: 12°02′47.30″S 77°01′48.13″W / 12.0464722°S 77.0300361°W / -12.0464722; -77.0300361
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Basilica
Leadership Archbishop of Lima
Completed 1538

The Basilica Cathedral of Lima is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the Plaza Mayor of downtown Lima, Peru. Construction began in 1535, and the building has undergone many reconstructions and transformations since. It retains its colonial structure and facade. It is dedicated to St John, Apostle and Evangelist.


The nave of the Cathedral.
Main facade Portada del Perdón
Lima Cathedral, by night
Francisco Pizarro's tomb
Lateral entrance to the cathedral.

In keeping with the majority of cathedrals the front facade has three large doorways. The main or central gateway is called the Portada del Perdón or the "door of forgiveness". Above the doorway is the Peruvian seal and the phrase "Plus Ultra" rather than Lima's coat-of-arms. The two high towers with spire of slate, are neoclassical with stylistic influences of the school "El Escorial" and of northern Europe.

There are 14 side chapels, one of which opens on to Calle de Judíos (Street of the Jews) and another on to the Patio de los Naranjos (Square of the Orange Trees, connected to the Cathedral). At the rear are two more entrances: Santa Apolonia and San Cristóbal. Set on the front facade are sculptures of the Apostles and in the middle, the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Adjoining the Cathedral are the Parroquia del Sagrario (one of the oldest ones in Lima) and the Archbishop's Palace.

Inside, along the side aisles, are a sequence of large paintings of the Via Crucis, "Way of the Cross." Pope John Paul II visited this cathedral on two occasions, in 1985 and 1988. This is commemorated with signs at the entrance.

In the left aisle, the first chapel holds the ancient baptistery. Here can be seen a beautiful image of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza, who presides over the events during Cuaresm and Holy Week. During a recent restoration, ancient pictures were found in this chapel that have been restored and are displayed again for the public.

The next chapel is Capilla de la Sagrada Familia (chapel of the Holy Family), featuring figures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

The Basilica Cathedral of Lima is also home to the tomb of Francisco Pizarro


The following chronological data is based on the work of the priest and art historian Antonio San Cristóbal.[1]

The conquistador Francisco Pizarro laid the first stone, carrying on his shoulders the first log used in the construction of the Cathedral. The chosen location was between the Main Plaza and the Street of the Jews (Calle de Judíos, in Spanish).

1614-1615: The old Renaissance vaults were rebuilt at a lower height in a Gothic style.


See also


  1. (Spanish) Arzobispado de Lima, Catedral de Lima, Retrieved February 15, 2008
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