The Plaza de Armas has been the centre of Lima since 1535. Over the years it has served many functions, from an open-air theater for melodramas to an impromptu ring for bullfights. Huge fires once burned in the centre for people sentenced to death by the Spanish Inquisition. Much has changed over the years, but one thing remaining is the bronze fountain unveiled in 1651. It was here that José de San Martín declared the country's independence from Spain in 1821.
This grand plaza features many important architectural monuments and buildings including the Archbishop's Palace with its elegant balconies, the Government Palace dating from 1924 and Lima Cathedral.
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