Chiclayo, known as the “Friendship´s Capital”, is one of the most important cities in Peru. It is located in the department of Lambayeque in the north of Peru. It offers a wide variety of tourist destinations such as archeological remains, museums and relics that are part of the country’s ancient past’s heritage and an important part of the history of Peru.
Chiclayo wasn’t founded by Spanish conquerors, it was officially acknowledged as a province thanks to José Leonardo Ortiz, our national hero and it was authenticated as such by decree in April 18th, 1935.
Their ancient inhabitants built the Chimú culture, a great pre-Inca culture. The Chimú established big urban centers and moved their capital to strategic zones. This is where the remains of the Lord of Sipán were found. The Incas managed to conquer the Chimú territory after almost 4 decades in which Pachacútec, Inca Yupanqui and Huayna Cápac intervened.
When we talk about the Lord of Sipán, we’re talking about one of the most emblematic figures of the Mochica culture. The Lord of Sipán was an ancient Mochica ruler from the 3rd century, whose discovery proved far-reaching for world archeology as his tomb was the first royal burial site found intact in South America, and belonging to a Peruvian civilization prior to the Inca Empire.
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Two important cultures established in this region: the Moche and the Lambayeque or Sicán cultures.
The Moche culture developed in the north coast of the country between the Ancash, Lambayeque and La Libertad departments between the 1st and 7th century AD.
This civilization had a vast knowledge of hydraulic engineering. We can see this in their channels which allowed them to take water to their crops generating a surplus and giving them a stable economy. This culture used copper to make ornaments, tools and weapons. Their fine pottery gave them the title of the best ceramists of the ancient Peru. In their pottery they represented deities, men, animals, ceremonial rituals, and myths that reflect their perception of the world. The last discoveries show us that this culture disappeared because of an El Niño phenomenon.
The fall of the Moche culture was the starting point of the Lambayeque or Sicán culture between the 8th and 14th century AD. They assimilated a great part of their knowledge and traditions. This civilization settled In the Lambayeque department and their cultural influence through barter extends through almost all the Peruvian coast, reaching their peak between 900 and 1100 AD. The Sicán culture stands out for their architecture, goldsmithing and navigation.
Once the Spanish conquest started, the area where the city was established was inhabited by the Cinto and Collique ethnic groups who were subdued by order of Viceroy Francisco de Toledo. The chiefs of those communities had to donate part of their lands to build the San Francisco’s church and convent. This is how the city started to grow around those buildings at the end of the 16th century.
Chiclayo was founded in 1720 under the name of “Santa María de los Valles de Chiclayo” as a village for transit and rest.
During the Independence of Peru, the city wasn’t indifferent to the cause. Under José Leonardo Ortiz’s direction supporting Manuel Iturregui’s pronouncement, Pascual Saco and other Lambayecan patriots provided men, arms, horses and other resources needed by José de San Martin.
Lambayeque is located northwest of Peru. Its capital is Chiclayo, located in the province of the same name. It shares borders at the north with the Lambayeque and Ferreñafe provinces, at the east with the Cajamarca department, at the south with the La Libertad department, and with the Pacific Ocean at the west.
It has an extension of 3,288 km2 and a population of 857,405 inhabitants.
Its geography is mainly flat with a slight inclination that goes west to east. Most of its territory is irrigated by the Saña and Chancay rivers. It also has a rich water table or underground water currents that are extracted to be used as a supplement to the water from the rivers.
Chiclayo is mainly a cultural destination where we can see the heritage left by the pre-Incan cultures that settled in the area. The most representative sites are:
The Lambayeque carnival: the carnival is a colorful and joyful event that is celebrated in different parts of Peru in which people go out to the streets joining impressive parades. Parties in which the whole town takes part in are also organized. Lambayeque is no exception, they also celebrate carnivals with the festive spirit that characterizes them.
Cross of Chalpón: the Cross of Chalpón festivity is an important religious fervor event that takes place in August. Long ago, a priest that was an expert cabinetmaker, carved three crosses. One of them is the current Cross of Chalpón that is on top of a hill that has the same name. It is said that when the parrish priest was about to die, he asked the crosses to be found and to be venerated since the one in Chalpón was protecting Motupe.
José Mercedes Anteparra found the Cross of Chalpón after a four-day walk. He went back to the town to ask for help, secretly summoning two neighbors, but soon a large part of the town started going on pilgrimages to see the saint protector Motupe cross. That was the first time that the Motupe town marched in procession after the holy cross, so it is understandable that the second day of August, which is the day the cross was found, is an unforgettable date for the people.
The gastronomy in the north of Peru is one of the most important in the country. We can find arroz con pato (rice with duck), a dish made with cilantro, an aromatic herb that gives an amazing flavor to it. Among the typical dishes we can also find espesado, a corn soup with a side dish of yellow rice, tortilla de raya, which is an omelet made of skate fish with green onions and yellow chili. The white chicha is the zone’s typical beverage.
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