Trujillo Tourist Attractions
Originally the Roman town of Turgalium, Trujillo was held by the Moors for many centuries before being recovered by Christian forces in the 13th century. The town now calls itself the "Cradle of the Conquistadors", having been the birthplace of many men who went out to seek their fortune in the New World and conquered vast territories for Spain. Chief among them was Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru, who was born in Trujillo in 1475. Other notable figures were Francisco de Orellana, the first man to sail up the Amazon; Diego García Paredes, the "Samson of Extremadura", a man strong as an ox, who founded Trujillo in Venezuela; and Ñuflo de Chaves, who founded the Bolivian town of Santa Cruz. They and their descendants brought some of their wealth back to Trujillo and built great palaces which still give the town its distinctive stamp.
The central feature of the old town is the Plaza Mayor, in which stands an equestrian statue of Pizarro, erected in 1927. Flanking the square are a number of palaces built by Conquistadors.
Palacio de Piedras Albas
At the southeast corner of the Plaza Mayor is the Palacio de Piedras Albas, a Gothic mansion with a Renaissance gallery.
Palacio de San Carlos
At the northeast corner of the Plaza Mayor stands the Palacio de San Carlos, a Renaissance building with a two-story patio which is now occupied by a convent of nuns. Above a corner balcony can be seen a two-headed eagle, the heraldic emblem of the Vargas-Carvajal family.
Adjoining the Palacio de San Carlos, on higher ground, is the church of San Martín (15th-16th C.), with two dissimilar towers; it contains the tombs of two Conquistadors, Orellana and Vargas-Carvajal.
Santa Marta Palace
Located next to the San Martín church is the 16th C. mansion, known as Santa Marta Palace.
House of the Chain
In the higher part of the Plaza Mayor is the Casa de la Cadena, seat of the Chaves-Orellana family, and in the street behind it the Torre del Alfiler ("Needle Tower").
Palacio de la Conquista
At the southwest corner of the Plaza Mayor stands the Plateresque Palacio de la Conquista, the most imposing of the palaces in the square. Along the edge of the roof are twelve statues symbolising the Months, and the windows have elaborate grilles. The palace was built by Hernán Pizarro, half-brother and also son-in-law of Francisco Pizarro. On either side of the corner window are busts of Francisco Pizarro and his wife, the Inca princess Yupanqui, their daughter Juana and Hernán Pizarro himself, who married his own niece. Over the window can be seen the magnificent coat of arms of the Pizarro family.
Within the Town Walls
Palacio de los Escobar
From the Palacio Orellana-Pizarro it is a short distance to the Gothic Puerta de San Andrés, which leads into the part of the old town within the walls. Here too there are numerous noble mansions. Immediately inside the gate, to the right, is a small square with the 15th century Palacio de Escobar.
Santa María la Mayor
Farther northof the Palacio de los Escobar, to the left, is the Gothic church of Santa María la Mayor (13th C.), with the tombs of Diego García de Paredes (b. Trujillo 1466) and Juana Yupanqui, daughter (and also daughter-in- law) of Francisco Pizarro. The retablo has paintings by Fernando Gallego. In the square in which the church stands is the birthplace of Francisco de Orellana.
The 12th century church of Santiago contains a statue of St James (Santiago), the town's patron saint, and a Gothic retablo. Adjoining the church is an old town gate, the Puerta de Santiago.
Chaves Cárdenas House
The Chaves Cárdenas House is a gothic building with Renaissance elements. It was the house of the Chaves Cárdenas family.
La Coria Museum
Los Altamiranos Citadel
The citadel was begun in the 13th C. The main entrance, marked by two towers, bears the coat of arms of the Altamiranos family.
Los Bejaranos Citadel
Two towers are all that remain of this citadel. The oldest of the two dates to the 13th C.
Equestrain Statue of Francisco Pizarro
This 6500kg bronze statue was created by North American artist Charles Rumsey.
House of Los Sotomayor
The 16th C House of Los Sotomayor features a unique facade of hewnstone blocks.