To Spanish conquistadors, the city of Trujillo was among the most important settlements of the New World. Founded in 1534 by Diego de Almagro, it was the first Peruvian city to declare independence from Spain in 1820 and remains Peru’s second-largest city. Retrace Trujillo’s colonial past at these historic sites.
Plaza de Armas
All visits to colonial Trujillo begin in the Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square, located at the heart of the historic center. On one corner, the Cathedral Santa María is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks, while Edmund Möeller’s Freedom Monument stands proud over the central plaza.
The imposing Casa Urquiaga also looks out over the Plaza de Armas. This bright blue mansion dates back to 1604 and was famously the house from which Simon Bolivar helped foment the revolution. Inside, visitors can see Bolivar’s desk, admire the 17th- and 18th-century furnishings, and see a number of Chimu artifacts.
El Carmen Church
There are around a dozen churches in Trujillo’s historic center, but most notable is the enormous El Carmen Church, which occupies an entire city block. Its cream and red façade is typical of the city’s 18th-century colonial architecture, but even more impressive is the large collection of colonial art on display inside.
Casa de la Emancipación
A short stroll from the Plaza de Armas, the Casa de la Emancipación was the site where the independence of Peru was declared in 1820. Now home to the BBVA Continental bank, it’s a striking mix of colonial and Republican styles, with bold yellow and red walls, and intricate wrought-iron balconies.