Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about Lima, Peru. For other places, people and things named "Lima", see Lima (disambiguation).
Lima is the capital and largest city in Peru. It is the cultural, industrial, financial, and transport hub of the country. The city is located in a valley fed by the Rímac River, on the country's desert coast and adjacent to the Pacific port of Callao. Founded by Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro, Lima is also known as the City of Kings for its founding at Epiphany in 1535. For more than three centuries, Lima was the most important city and the greatest metropolis in South America. More than four centuries have passed since its founding as a Spanish city, and Lima has become a symbol of Peru's mestizo heritage, with nearly one-third of the nation's population living in it. The city covers most of the Lima and Callao Metropolitan Area.
| Also called: "La Ciudad de los Reyes"|
("The City of Kings")
|Founded||January 18, 1535|
|Mayor||Luis Castañeda Lossio|
8 043 521 (2004 estimate)
|Official website: www.munlima.gob.pe|
Geography and climate
Lima is located in the valleys of the Chillón , Rímac and Lurín rivers. With an area of 2,672.28 km², it is the second largest city in the world located in a desert, after Cairo.
Due to the Humboldt Current, Lima has a temperate climate, but is shrouded in fog seven months a year. The temperatures in the summer rarely rise above 30°C, while in winter temperatures almost never fall below 10°C. The sky is nearly always overcast. Lima gets virtually no rain.
See also: Lima Province#Political division
Lima is among the world's most populated cities. Political and economic instability during the latter half of the twentieth century created unprecedented poverty and violence in the rural highlands, forcing millions of campesinos to migrate to Lima looking for work and a better life. Today, almost half the city's population lives in shantytowns, locally known as pueblos jóvenes, many of which lack such basic services as electricity and running water.
Lima was founded by conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535; and became the most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru, which encompassed nearly all of Spain's possessions in South America during the colonial era (mid 1500s to early 1800s). The city's cultural importance was contested perhaps only by Bogotá, and its architecture and political importance in Latin America were equalled only by Mexico City.
In 1997, the Japanese embassy hostage crisis took place in Lima, an affair which received global media attention. It ended on April 22, 1997 when Peruvian Armed Forces commandos stormed the building to resuce the seventy-two hostages. One hostage died of a heart attack, two soldiers were killed, and all fourteen rebels were slain.
The city has the largest concentration of higher-education institutions in the country. The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, founded on May 12 1551, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas and one of the most prestigious in Peru; the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú also enjoys high levels of prestige, as do some specialized institutions, such as the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería . (See also: List of universities in Peru)
In recent decades, Lima has rapidly expanded and the city has seen much unregulated develoment. In the last decade, air pollution has risen to alarming levels, as no restrictions are allowed on the age or efficiency of motor vehicles. Leaded petrol is still widely used.
Most of the better hotels and other tourist destinations are located in the upscale neighborhoods of Miraflores and San Isidro. These modern and cosmopolitan districts sharply contrast with the shanty towns that cling to hillsides at the north and south ends of Lima.
- Lima has an extensive bus system, which connects all of Lima's main streets and avenues. These buses are commonly known as micros or combis. Although very cheap and convenient (they stop virtually everywhere), they are often poorly mantained and the smaller buses run at excessive speeds.
- Taxis vary in quality of service and price. They can be stopped at any street, or private taxi companies can be called to pick up passengers at a certain address.
- Numerous inter-urban bus companies offer transportation to other cities in Peru. Quality varies depending on the price, from luxury express buses to uncomfortable and crowded micros.
- An agreement signed by Mayor Luis Castañeda and President Alejandro Toledo on February 17, 2005, provided funding for finishing the Lima Metro, an above-ground mass-transit system which will link the downtown area with the financial district, San Isidro. The project was launched in the late 1980s but left unfinished by former president Alan García.
- Lima's main passenger gateway for national and international air travelers is Jorge Chávez International Airport.
The Historical center of Lima , located in downtown Lima and the Rímac district, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 due the large number of historical buildings dating from the Spanish colonial era, a small number of which have now been restored. In particular, the monumental Plaza de Armas, with the 16th century Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, and the catacombs of the Convento de San Francisco are popular with visitors.
The city also has a number of fine museums, notably the National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology, and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum, both in the Pueblo Libre district.
Many small beaches, which are heavily visited during the summer months, are located by the southern Pan-American Highway. The most popular ones are located in the districts of Santa María del Mar, Punta Hermosa , Punta Negra , San Bartolo and Pucusana . Numerous restaurants, clubs and hotels have been opened in these places to serve the many beachgoers. The beaches in Lima itself and north of the city are not suitable for swimming because the city's sewage is dumped raw into the ocean (near the city's southern districts), and the sea current flows northwards.
The suburbs of Chosica and Cieneguilla provide attractive green landscapes at a short distance from the city. Because of their elevation (> 500 meters), the sun shines in these areas even during winter and hence they are visited by residents of Lima to escape from the winter fog.
Recently, the Palomino Islands near the port of Callao have attracted visitors due to a population of sea lions.
- Municipality of Lima (in Spanish)
- Lima at geographia.com
- Lima Stock Exchange
- Jorge Chávez International Airport
- The climate of Lima
- Lima maps (in Spanish)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details