Didem Doğan

The old town of Lima, a new administration

The Incas had lost the war and Pizarro started to build his new city on the shores of the Pacific. The administrative policy at that time was to colonise the new lands by naming them a Viceroyalty of the Kingdom of Spain. According to official history in 1535 a city with a new name ‘Ciudad de los Reyes’, meaning the city of kings was founded. The name did not survive though. Lima comes from the indigenous word ‘rimaq’ that was the name of the river called by indigenous, meaning ‘that talks’. The Viceroyalties (Virreinato in Spanish) were those newly colonised lands ruled by Spain between the 16th and 18th centuries; Peru and Mexico were other two of them (Mexico was called the New Spain at that time). The representative of the King of Spain would be sent to govern these lands, in the aim of centralisation of power in those distant lands. The lands in the Central and Northern America used to belong to Mexico while the lands colonised in South America used to be governed by Lima. In the 18th century two other places, Bogota and Buenos Aires joined these administrative centers. So, in Lima the old town around the Plaza Mayor, the big Square, was the centre of the new Viceroyalty. Three centuries after the foundation of the city it was the very same place where independence from Spain was declared.