Trujillo, Peru Tourist Attractions
Trujillo is the third largest city in Peru and the central hub of the North Coast. It also has considerably more character than many of the other towns and cities in the north. Trujillo has a unique colonial flare, with bright and pastel color buildings and beautiful wrought iron window railings. The central area of the city near the Plaza de Armas is full of colonial mansions and churches. This is a good location for spending a few days to explore the city and surroundings. Just north of Trujillo is Chan Chan ruin, the ancient capital of the Chimú Empire.Trujillo was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizzaro, and named after the town of his birth in Spain.
Casa Orbegoso was once the residence of the former Peruvian president, Luis José de Orbegoso. This huge colonial mansion from the 1700s on the corner of Bolívar and Orbegoso, takes up much of the block. Painted in yellow and brown, the house has its own square which faces the San Agustín church.The interior features a collection of art and period furnishings. Moorish-Christian paintings decorate the entrance. Some of the furnishings on the lower level are originals from the time the house was built. One section of the house still belongs to the descendents of Orbegoso.
Casa Urquiaga (Casa Calonge)
This historic colonial mansion of Casa Urquiaga, also known as Casa Calonge, was once the residence of Simón Bolívar. He lived here between 1824 and 1826 and the home still contains the desk Bolívar used.The exterior of Casa Urquiaga is blue with white trim, including white window grilles, as is found throughout Trujillo. The interior is adorned with elaborate chandeliers and mirrors, and a collection of Moche and Nasca ceramics. The house has three interior courtyards.The Casa Urquiaga housed Peru's first viceroy in the early 1600s, was the first bank headquarters in the town, and is currently held by the Banco Central.
El Carmen Church and Monastery
The Iglesia y Monasterio El Carmen (El Carmen Church and Monastery) was built in 1724 and is still occupied by nuns. This Carmelite monastery has endured the earthquakes that have affected many of Trujillos colonial buildings. The El Carmen Church and Monastery consumes an entire block at the corner of Bolívar and Colón.The church houses the Carmelite Museum, known for having the best collection of colonial art in Trujillo. The museum has a large collection of baroque and rococo paintings, primarily from the 1600s and 1700s. There are also pieces from the Quito Art School. One portion of the museum deals specifically with art restoration.
Trujillo's large Plaza de Armas is the heart of the old section of the city. Planning of the city began here in 1534. The Trujillo Cathedral, on the northeast side of the square, was originally begun in the 1600s but was damaged or destroyed on several occasions, and rebuilt. The current structure dates to the mid 1700s. Beautiful colonial mansions also line the Plaza de Armas, some of which are public buildings, and are open to the public.In the center of the square is the Monumento de La Libertad, a winged figure. On Sunday mornings there is a flag raising ceremony in the Plaza de Armas followed by a small parade.
Museo Cassinelli is a private collection of archeological artifacts on display in the basement of a Mobil gas station. Despite the less than spectacular setting, the museum is quite impressive. The collection was acquired over several decades by Sr. Cassinelli, primarily from grave robbers.Some of the unique pieces on display include whistling pots, which sound a note when they are blown into. There is also a good collection of erotic pottery from the Moche culture. If you haven't seen examples of this elsewhere, this is worth seeing.The Museo Cassinelli is located northwest of the Plaza de Armas, out past the Estadio Mansiche.
National University of Trujillo Archeological Museum
Trujillo's Archeological Museum, Museo de Arqueología de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, is run by the National University of Trujillo. Housed in the restored 17th Century colonial mansion, Casa Risco, the museum contains a rather small collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, from the Trujillo area. Many of the items were recovered from Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon) archeological sites. The museum also displays some murals which are replications of murals found at the site. The excavation of the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna is also discussed at the Archeological Museum.
Casa Ganoza Chopitea (La Casa de los Leones)
Now the office of the Tourist Police (Policia de Tourismo), Casa Ganoza, is also referred to locally as La Casa de los Leones (House of the Lions), so named for the lions at the main door. The entrance is adorned with baroque and rococo features. The interio has soaring wood ceilings, with two main galleries, the Salón de Varones (Men's Hall), and the Salón de Damas (Women's Hall).Peruvian art is sometimes on display here at the Casa Ganoza Chopitea. It is located northwest of the Plaza de Armas on Independencia.
Church of La Merced
Trujillo's church of La Merced (Iglesia La Merced) is on the corner of Pizarro and Gamarra, just north of the Plaza de Armas. The church as it stands today was rebuilt following the 1619 earthquake and was the creation of Portugese artist Alonso de las Nieves.La Merced is a domed church with a baroque façade. Noteworthy in the church are the rococo organ and the 17th Century paintings on the side naves. The church was short the necessary funds to commission a traditional altar, so in 1755 an altar was painted on the wall. La Merced also maintains beautiful gardens.