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Alameda de los Descalzos

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The Alameda de los Descalzos is one of the most important public spaces in Metropolitan Lima, located in the historic district of Rímac, considered by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

It was initially called Alameda Grande, it was built in 1611 by Viceroy Juan de Mendoza y Luna.

The avenue has beautiful marble decorations from the viceregal era and fine details that are in harmony with the traditional landscape offered by the historic city of Lima. It is a place full of stories, stories and social and political events that are part of the cultural identity of Lima, which is why the Alameda de los Descalzos is a strategic place that contributes to the development of social integration and strengthens cultural identity. of the citizen.

History of the Alameda de los descalzos

In Lima, the alameda, or walk planted with poplars, was not just one in the course of time, but there were two.

The first, the best known, flourished until it reached the façade of the Descalzos convent around 1610 and at the initiative of the viceroy Juan de Mendoza y Luna, III Marquis of Montesclaros; and the second, which was in front of Acho and its bullring, was inaugurated in 1768 by Viceroy Amat, its architect Agustín de Landaburu and the mayor of Lima, Fernando Carrillo de Albornoz y Salazar, Count of Montemar.

The popularly known as Alameda de los Descalzos was renovated many times during the three centuries of its existence. The most notable reform is that undertaken by the government of Marshal Ramón Castilla during his second presidential period (1856–1862). During those years the promenade was endowed with superlative ornamentation with select sculptural works imported from Europe and with the paving of the central berm of the avenue with marbles and alabasters in the shapes of vases, shields, lunettes and statues of classical Hellenistic format: a whole vision affected by the luxury that became fashionable during that time of false wealth obtained by the guano trade of the islands.

The most exclusive of Lima’s society came to enjoy those environments, more rural than urban, that ended in the surrounding rocky hills, including the one nicknamed “De las branches”, scene of the Palma tradition “Don Dimas de the Earwig” (1870).

There is no doubt that the Alameda de los Descalzos is imposed as a symbol of recent traditional Lima culture. The composer Isabel (Chabuca) Granda (1920–1983), consecrated this republican public space of remote viceregal origins as the central theme of her famous waltz La Flor de la Canela, together with Victoria Angulo and the stone bridge built by the viceroy of Montesclaros.

Now, what about the forgotten Alameda de Acho? It is known that it was one of the busiest social centers for the Lima community between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century and that it was backed by a wide boardwalk that overlooked the low ravines on the right bank of the Rímac River.

According to the journalist Manuel Atanasio Fuentes, known as “The Bat”, it was paved with flagstone, and its poplar trees alternated with leafy weeping willows and eucalyptus trees. The west end gave entrance to the Plaza de Acho and the boardwalk had a panoramic view of the old city bristling with church domes and colored red by the summer sunsets or the gray of the misty winter dawns.

This boardwalk, which has faded from Lima’s collective memory, must now be taken as an intangible symbol: its spaces are currently occupied by roads that lead to the current district of San Juan de Lurigancho, an aggressive and confusing reality that contrasts with the peaceful and quiet rural environment that For centuries it surrounded it and gave it reason for being.

Restoration and Recovery of the Alameda de Los Descalzos

In October 2014, the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima began remodeling works on the Alameda de los Descalzos due to its deterioration, neglect of the green areas, lack of maintenance of the ornamental sculptures, lack of lighting and security, creating an unpleasant place that drastically reduces its cultural value for citizens.

On January 12, 2016, the completely remodeled Alameda was delivered, giving citizens a safe and ornamentally illuminated public space where citizens can move freely and develop social, recreational and leisure activities, thus facilitating the relationship between the population. and strengthening their cultural identity.

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