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Definition: Lima from The Macquarie Dictionary

the capital and largest city of Peru, in the western part, near the Pacific coast.


Summary Article: Lima from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Capital and largest city of Peru, on the River Rímac, 13 km/8 mi from its Pacific port of Callao; population (2005) 7,553,400; urban agglomeration 7,819,400. A rapidly growing metropolitcan area, it comprises about one-third of the country's total population and is the main commercial, manufacturing, and cultural centre of the country. Industries include textiles, motor vehicles, petroleum products, chemicals, glass, and cement.

History It was founded as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings) by the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro in January 1535, and became the seat of the Spanish viceroys of Peru; it was rebuilt after its destruction by an earthquake in 1746.

Features Surviving structures of the Spanish colonial period include the National University of San Marcos, founded in 1551, and the oldest in the Western Hemisphere; the government palace (the rebuilt palace of the viceroys); the Senate House, originally the headquarters of the Inquisition; the church of Santo Domingo built on land granted to a Dominican friar in 1535 (built 1540–99); La Merced church, built on the site of the first mass held in Lima in 1534. The cathedral, begun in 1555 and built on the southeastern side of the Plaza de Armas, was destroyed by earthquakes and was reconstructed several times, most recently in 1746. A third of the population live in overcrowded shanty towns (Pueblo Jóvenes) on the outskirts of the city.

The city suffers from severe pollution, both air pollution and coastal sea pollution. A local convective fog dominates between April and December, and from January to March smog is common.

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