As I said in my former post, the reason I love downtown Lima is its special and colorful architecture. Even if you just walk around downtown to see its churches, palaces, and colonial houses, it is worth it.
Architecture is definitely the main attraction, but there is still another reason to go to downtown: its museums. There are dozens and now I just want to introduce four of them.
Museo Banco Central de Reserva del Perú:
On the basement and inside a bank vault there is one of the best collections of golden artifacts made by Inca and pre-Inca cultures. This collection is part of the archaeology room which shows the evolution of the art of ancient Peruvian cultures. In addition, the museum has a coin collection and a 19th- and 20th- century painting collection.
Link: http://museobcr.perucultural.org.pe/ (spanish)
Museo Andres del Castillo:
This museum is in a beautiful colonial house, the Casa Belén. The most impressive collection here is about the Chancay culture and its main handicraft feature: the cuchimilco (see picture below). The cuchimilco “is a mythical female being with tears, dressed in black robe (anaco), a belt to waist and handkerchief on the head, carrying a new-born on the back” which it may mean that after death remains the hope of life.
Two other collections complete this museum: the clothing in the ancient Perú and the mineral collections.
Link: http://www.madc.com.pe/ (in english, spanish, french, german, chinese, and japanese)
Museo de la Inquisición y del Congreso:
Just watch out your head as you go down to the basement and bear in mind that you may not like what you are about to see: dungeons and chambers where suspects of heresy were tortured. This happened from 1569 to 1820 when this place was the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition. Subsequently, it became the Senate building from 1829 to 1839.
Link: http://www.congreso.gob.pe/museo.htm (spanish)
Walking around downtown Lima? Even if you are not interested in ethnographic matters, you may not miss this small but interesting museum. I really love it because it let me know about the life of jungle tribes such as asháninka, machiguenga, yine, amarakaeri, shipibo, nahua, and ese´eja.
Link: www.selvasperu.org (spanish)
This is just a pretty small list of museums, and as I said before, there are dozens of them. Would you recommend any other museum in downtown Lima?