martes, 12 de septiembre de 2017

Things to see in Barranco: Walking

As we announced in the previous post, we have been progressing step by step the city of Lima through its Historic Center and its religious buildings; Miraflores and its trendy locals; it's time to arrive to one of the most beautiful districts of the city: Barranco.

I think we can say without fear of being confused that it is also the most peculiar district because of its architecture, its nightlife and some of the personalities that populate its streets. Barranco is a must-see in any tour that you want to do in Lima: here you will find restaurants, entertainment venues and exhibition halls that have nothing to envy to major European cities.

Visitors who come by taxi can arrive at Plaza de Barranco (also known as Parque Municipal). From Miraflores by taxi 'non safe' should not charge more than S/ 7 and no more than S/ 12 if you come from somewhere in San Isidro. If you use mobile apps like Uber, TaxiBeat or EasyTaxi the price should not be a couple of Soles above.


El Parque de Barranco was inaugurated on February 13, 1898, and has the shape of any plaza, with small gardens and a central statue known as the Danaide, marine nymph that is surrounded by statues alluding to classical mythology.

We can also see the Barberini candelabra and little angels called Puttis. In the margin of the square we will find a pergola in which sometimes plays bands and orchestras.

In the right center of the park we will find the Municipal Library and on the left bank crossing the old church of La Santísima Cruz.

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

But let's continue and cross to the stairs that lead us to the well-known Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), built in 1876 and named that way for the romances it witnessed over the years. 

This wooden bridge was destroyed in 1881 due to the passage of the Chilean army during the War of the Pacific and reconstructed years later. Due to the humidity of Barranco its wood has suffered enough and was cut for a few months in 2016 for maintenance work

Today it is fully operational. It is said that on the first visit to the bridge, must be crossed holding the breath to the other side and ask for a desire to release the air. The famous Peruvian composer Chabuca Granda composed a song to this bridge titled precisely "El Puente de los Suspiros" (The Bridge of Sighs).


How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

We would like to dedicate a single post to Chabuca - especially after the declaration of Cultural Heritage of the Nation to his work - but it will be later. Crossing the Bridge of Sighs and advancing along a narrow road parallel to the Bajada de Baños, we arrive at a beautiful viewpoint known for the incredible sunsets facing the Pacific (El Mirador or Lookout).

And here as narrator I have to tell two different versions that told me about the "Iron Cross" that is seen on the top of the hill of Chorrillos.

One of those stories says that it's the point where Chilean soldiers enter to Barranco to "blood and fire" and that stands as a tribute to the victims of the War of the Pacific; the other story that came to my ears is that the cross is made with the high voltage towers that exploded the subversive group Sendero Luminoso and serves as a reminder for the time of "blackouts". Any input on this story would be well received!

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

In front of the Bridge of Sighs we can also appreciate La Ermita de Barranco, a small church of adobe and quincha from the middle of the XVIII century that was burned by the Chileans in 1882 and later rebuilt.

Some Barranquinos told me that the church was destroyed by the Chileans, not without first having shot all the civilians who sought refuge between their walls and the same priest who defended them. To this day, although not in the best conditions, it looks with the facade restored and painted in a mustard color.

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

If we go down the stairs near the Bridge of Sighs we can access the Bajada de Baños, a slope that will lead us to Costa Verde (Green Coast) and the sand of the Pacific Ocean (you also can take a bath!). We leave you some images of the Bajada and of some of the barranquinas streets of our friend and Peruvian photographer Jorge Arméstar.

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

How to See Barranco, District Barranco, Discovering Barranco

In our next post we will see what leisure offers Barranco and what spaces of art we can find in this unique district.

Esteban García, Peru Travels Blog
September 2017
info@perutravelsblog.com

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