Didem Doğan

Lima: Pizarro’s New City and Today’s Capital City

When the Spanish arrived in Peru in pursuit of the gold they dreamed of, they hoped for two things: that the city named Biru, which was mentioned in the stories told by the first discoverers, actually existed and that they could find gold there. They arrived in this land on the northern shores of the continent and they did not encounter the Inca Empire they did not know about it then. That is because the Incas chose Cuzco as their capital city: The Inca Empire was a vast one, extending from the ocean shores to the places harder to reach in mainland located among the mountains. Back then a mind-bogging violent civil war between two royal brothers, Atahualpa and Huayna, was taking place in the empire…The city of Lima did not exist then and the ocean shores were all wilderness bordered by desert. The four decades following the arrival of the Spanish first witnessed the Inca civil war, and then the war between the Incas and the Spanish, and finally the Spanish civil war: everyone killed everyone and the wealth of the empire was plundered. When the Incas ceased to be a threat to the Spanish, they founded their own capitol city to sever the ties with the past of the continent. That is how Lima was built on the cliffs along the Pacific shore.