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Colourful Colonialism

While I feel extremely sad at some of the results of the Spanish colonialisation of Peru in the 16th Century, such as the extinction of the Incas and the agricultural exploitation of Andean natives, in the cities, colonialism created some of the most beautiful buildings. The Colonial architecture is is colourful and ornate. One of my favourite buildings in Lima is the Casa de la Literature Peruana, a beautiful mint green building, with a beautiful glass roof and thousands of Peruvian books. There is also an architectural excavation going on underneath which is fascinating.

Another amazing building is the Monastery of San Francisco, with the wonderfully ornate and kitsch Catholic church which is set above a set of slightly terrifying catacombs, where you can view piles of bones and sculls of devout Catholics who paid to be buried there in order to be closer to God. Needless to say this isn’t my favourite building, but very interesting nonetheless.

While much of Colonial Lima has been knocked down to make way for a mismatch of high rise blocks to accommodate the city’s growing population, my favourite district Barranco, still has many of its colonial buildings still in tact, they are crumbling and graffitied, but I feel like this makes them all the more fascinating. The ornate wooden balconies were built so that the colonial women could sit upstairs and watch the men go about their business. Now we are left with beautiful, old fashioned facades.

Also, at the end of the pier in Miraflores, inside the beautiful blue and white, wooden building, is a restaurant called La Rosa Nautica which I would love to visit. However, I mainly love looking at the construction, I admire the building every time I walk past, it is a beautiful pier and reminds me of old English seaside resorts such as Brighton.

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Amelia Steele

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