The constitutional province of Callao has a long historical path, associated in pre-Hispanic times with the Lima culture, belonging to the Ischma lordship, having as one of its most important "curacazgos", the Maranga, among others. When the Spanish arrived and with the founding of Lima, there was no better idea than to use the surroundings of Callao as a port, for that reason, it is known as the port of Lima. Callao does not have a foundation date, unlike Lima.

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Colonial Sketch of Callao, in 1650

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View of the port of Callao de Lima (Peru, South America), 1671. Montanus / Meurs

The great earthquake of October 1746 left the city of Callao destroyed, so the crown decided to rebuild the new Callao in another location: Bellavista. Despite the catastrophe, after a while the city and its population resurfaced again. By this time, Callao will be used as a defense fort, for that reason in 1747 the viceroy, Manso de Velasco, ordered the construction of the Real Felipe Fortress, a work that French architect, Luis Godin, was in charge of and whose work lasted more than 30 years.

After the great earthquake of 1746, Callao was consolidated in urban planning as a port city, until the 1820s and 1830s, Callao continued to be configured as a military port city, as it was appreciated in the plan of the late 18th century, in which they predominate military and port type facilities, such as the captaincy, the king's warehouses, facilities for the service of ships (loading, unloading, hull, etc.).

Plan van de Stadt Callao Frézier, Amédée François Año de publicación: 1713
Plan van de Stadt Callao Frézier, Amédée François Año de publicación: 1713

Éste era un oficial ingeniero de su majestad el rey de Francia que había tenido un papel militar significativo durante la guerra de sucesión de España. En 1711, el gobierno español lo contrató para evaluar la eficiencia de las fortificaciones de los puertos de Chile y Perú. En particular, las autoridades coloniales buscaban frenar el contrabando que afectaba las finanzas de la región y mejorar la protección de los puertos (cf. Mariselle Meléndez, "Geographies of Patriotism: A South American Port

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Plano de Callao XVIII (1748)
Plano de Callao XVIII (1748)

Impresa por la Orden del Rey Nuestro Señor en Madrid por Antonio Marín, Año de MCDDXLVIII (1748).

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Plano de la Plaza, Fuertes y Población del Callao”, Ignacio de Roo, fines del siglo XVIII
Plano de la Plaza, Fuertes y Población del Callao”, Ignacio de Roo, fines del siglo XVIII

FUENTE: El Damero en discusión Prácticas espaciales y cartografía urbana en Lima tardo virreinal O Damero em discussão: práticas espaciais e cartografia urbana na Lima colonial tardia The Damero under discussion: spatial practices and urban cartography in late colonial Lima Isaac D. Sáenz https://doi.org/10.4000/terrabrasilis.1129

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Plan van de Stadt Callao Frézier, Amédée François Año de publicación: 1713
Plan van de Stadt Callao Frézier, Amédée François Año de publicación: 1713

Éste era un oficial ingeniero de su majestad el rey de Francia que había tenido un papel militar significativo durante la guerra de sucesión de España. En 1711, el gobierno español lo contrató para evaluar la eficiencia de las fortificaciones de los puertos de Chile y Perú. En particular, las autoridades coloniales buscaban frenar el contrabando que afectaba las finanzas de la región y mejorar la protección de los puertos (cf. Mariselle Meléndez, "Geographies of Patriotism: A South American Port

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Gallery of Blueprints of Callao XVIII century

History of Callao

 

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The Marine Hotel. Second block of the Constitution (1841-1845)

It is only in the middle of the 19th century that Callao is acquiring notoriety and importance in the city's economy, having its great apogee in the middle of the 19th century with the revenues obtained from guano, starting since then to have buildings destined for port activity, warehouses and houses around Constitución street, Castilla street, Libertad street, and Matriz and Grau squares. (Guide to Architecture and Landscape. Lima and Callao. Page 447)

Foto de 1870, donde se aprecia la plaza Matriz sin la pileta ni los edificios al frente de ella, que aparecen en la fotografía del Arco Triunfal tomada por Courret. Al derrumbarse estos edificios, se prolongó la plaza Matriz hasta la entrada de la estación de ferrocarriles del Callao, donde se colocó una pileta, hoy inexistente. Luego, ahí se erigiría el primer monumento peruano a José de San Martín, en 1901. Foto tomada de Caja 1. Plazas y plazuelas 2008.

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Arco Triunfal del La Plaza Matriz, Fotografía de Eugene Courret
Arco Triunfal del La Plaza Matriz, Fotografía de Eugene Courret

Arco Triunfal levantado, probablemente, antes de 1871, en la calle Constitución frente a la iglesia Matriz del Callao. Foto tomada de Herrera s/f.

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1858 - 1865, Calle Constitución Callao, Perú Emilio Garreaud
1858 - 1865, Calle Constitución Callao, Perú Emilio Garreaud

En el año de la foto, esta calle era la primera de Constitución, se puede distinguir al fondo la pileta que existió en la Plaza Matriz, se le conoció como la "Aguada", de donde el antiguo chalaco y el Real Felipe se servían del agua que venia por un canal y por la calle Miller, de los pozos existentes en la pampa "El chivato", ubicado junto al cementerio Baquijano Fuente: Ricardo Gonzales Zapata

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Foto de 1870, donde se aprecia la plaza Matriz sin la pileta ni los edificios al frente de ella, que aparecen en la fotografía del Arco Triunfal tomada por Courret. Al derrumbarse estos edificios, se prolongó la plaza Matriz hasta la entrada de la estación de ferrocarriles del Callao, donde se colocó una pileta, hoy inexistente. Luego, ahí se erigiría el primer monumento peruano a José de San Martín, en 1901. Foto tomada de Caja 1. Plazas y plazuelas 2008.

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Gallery of the Plaza Matriz

It is in this period that various European communities: English, French, Italian, gathered in the port of Callao due to the various businesses that were concentrated in the area; as well as by the great economic impulse initiated by Ramón Castilla with the construction of the English railway, the first railway that linked Lima with Callao. In the following map, from 1790, you can see the configuration of the port of Callao and where the military and port facilities prevailed.

DEOLINDA VILLA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 
 

History of the Plaza Grau

(former Plaza Constitución, then Plaza de la Victoria)

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Eduardo Polack’s Postcard

The current Plaza Grau is a relatively modern development of an older plaza that was originally called Plaza de la Constitución, then Plaza de la Victoria, and now forms two adjoining plazas with different names. The first, older, is called Plaza Emilio San Martín, patron of the Peruvian coastguard, who blew himself up in Callao Bay on May 25, 1880, during the War of the Pacific, and the one that is currently called Plaza Grau. The original center of Plaza Grau, today Plaza Emilio San Martín, begins on Manco Cápac Street and is surrounded by Constitución, Adolfo King, and Daniel Nieto streets, traditional Chalcas streets.

 

The original Plaza Grau, current Plaza Emilio San Martín, was born from an agreement of the Provincial Council of Callao on January 13, 1891, presided over by Dr. Hermógenes Maúrtua. The Council decided to build a plaza to commemorate the figure of the hero of Angamos Miguel Grau Seminario, whose remains had returned to the homeland on July 15, 1890, and disembarked at the historic Muelle de Guerra in the scent of a crowd for their transfer to Lime.

 

The original layout of the Plaza Grau corresponded to the notable State engineer Santiago Basurco and it was developed on the old "Plazuela de la Victoria", as it was called around 1885, which in turn had replaced a previous one called "Plaza de la Victoria". Constitución ”, built in 1857 in the place known around 1800 as the“ Fishermen's Oval) for having been the scene of the bloody events that faced the so-called “constitutionalists”, who defended the government of Ramón Castilla against the insurrection of the General Manuel Ignacio de Vivanco. In that same year, 1857, Callao became a Constitutional Province.

DEOLINDA VILLA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

Plaza Matriz

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Eduardo Polack’s Postcard

The Plaza Matriz emerged in the first decades of the 19th century associated with the construction in 1833 of the first mother church built in Callao with funds raised by merchants and residents of the port, under the leadership of the Italian merchants Antonio Dagnino and Félix Valega, and was flanked by the shreds Gálvez, Miller, and Independencia.

This originally constituted an anteroom of respect or atrium for the church, which soon became a square (plaza), the center of the daily activity of the city and many celebrations. Over time, the original small square advanced over the vacant area that emerged after the demolition of a block of buildings to facilitate communication between the jirón Constitución (former Calle Derecha or Recta and then Calle Real del Comercio, one of the oldest and most traditional shreds of the port after its new urbanization after the 1746 earthquake) and the current Manco Cápac avenue, which constituted the seafront and where the railway station was located.

 

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In this way, the current square was taking shape. It is a republican square of neoclassical style with 3,304 m2 of extension. In its oldest section, it was a dry square (not landscaped) in its entirety. At present, the section between Constitución and Manco Cápac is landscaped. At the beginning of the century, a monument to José de San Martín was erected in this part of the square, which was later moved to another area of ​​the city. The ornamentation was completed with wooden benches and lanterns.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

Plaza José Gálvez

(Coronel José Gálvez Egúsquiza Square)

 
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Eduardo Polack’s Postcard

In the early years of the Republic, it was known as the “Plaza de Mercado (Market Square). It acquired its current character as a commemorative public square (plaza) in the last years of the 19th century to house a bust sculpted in honor of José Gálvez Egúsquiza, Minister of Defense and hero of the Combat of May 2, 1866, gifted to the Chalaco people by the Italian sculptor Ulderico Tenderini. The bust had been located since 1869 in a corner of the Plaza Matriz, in front of the Casa Valega, The square was originally called Plaza Dos de Mayo and was built under the patterns of the turn of the century republican neoclassical style, highly influenced by the French academicism in vogue. In its beginnings, the bust of Gálvez, placed on a pedestal and protected by an iron fence, was escorted by a beautiful central garden area that surrounded a fountain and was also protected by an iron fence. His floor was of pebbles

On August 21, 1936, on the occasion of celebrating the "Centennial of the Political Independence of Callao" (in 1836, Andrés de Santa Cruz, Protector of the Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation elevated Callao to a Litoral Province, to give it greater administrative autonomy) The square was remodeled to place a new, more important, full-length effigy of José Gálvez, which came to occupy the center of it, as it currently stands. The small original bust was donated by the Municipality of Callao and transferred with all the honors to the patio of the emblematic Dos de Mayo School in Callao, where it is located today.

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Photo: Andean

Surrounding the Plaza Gálvez, a semi-closed square, with only two streets for vehicular use (Salaverry and José Gálvez streets), a series of equally late Republican-style buildings of important construction and heritage value, built between the last years of the 19th century and early twentieth century. To the west of the square, there is a large three-story building with continuous wooden balconies on the upper floors that served as a very luxurious accommodation for officers and sailors arriving on merchant ships of English origin. Inside there was a famous bar and the floors were connected by an elevator.

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Eduardo Polack’s Postcard

To the north, a house that covers an entire block with a back on the two-story shred of Libertad, very sober with square doors and flush wooden balconies.

 

 To the East, two beautiful two-story buildings, with characteristic portals or porticoes, supported by wooden columns and wooden ceilings. One of them has doors and windows with academic frames, a beautiful balustrade, and an ostentatious finish where the date of its completion is verified, 1906. The second is in poor condition due to having suffered a large fire.

 

To the south, a single-story high-rise building housed warehouses and at the beginning of the 20th century and a theater, today with large windows protected by iron bars.

On the border with Jirón Libertad, a three-story building with large warehouse doors; its second floor with open windowsill balconies and the third floor with a continuous balcony.

Source: Blog. "El Callao que no se fue."

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Image of Humberto Currrarino’s Collection

The Plaza, which has an approximate area of ​​3,171.55 m2, has undergone new remodeling interventions in 1958 and 2007, and is declared a Monumental Urban Environment by Supreme Resolution No. 2900-72-ED of December 28, 1972, as well as the buildings that surround it, are declared by different resolutions as part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation as monuments.

 

DEOLINDA VILLA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 

History of

Jirón Constitución

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The current port city of Callao was born in urban planning at the end of the 18th century, after the great earthquake and tsunami of 1746, later building the port's greatest urban landmark: the Real Felipe Fortress, a military construction on which the city will grow. The jirón Constitución has a trace of colonial origin, as evidenced by Ignacio de Roo's plan from the end of the 18th century. This street was originally called "Calle de la Derecha", named for its configuration somewhat more regular and straight than its parallels such as Independencia, La Mar, La Libertad, it consisted of around 11 streets and communicated the Real Felipe Fortress with the Old fort of San Miguel or also called Castillo del Sol, a kind of fort built as a strategic point in the event of possible combat.

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It is presumed that the name change occurred in the context of the National Convention of 1855, with Ramón Castilla being president of the Constituent Assembly, who promulgated a new Constitution in 1856 replacing the1839 one. This Constitution of a more liberal court than the previous one was the cause of the uprising and confrontation between liberal and conservative leaders, the latter represented by Mariano Ignacio de Vivanco. The Right Street being parallel to the sea, this was part of the scenario in which the fiercest fights between the two leaders took place and in allusion to the triumph of the government of the Convention represented in the promulgation of its 1856 constitution is that it is changed the name of the street from “Derecha” to “Constitución”, probably encouraged by José Gálvez Egúsquiza, future hero of Combate Dos de Mayo. It was Gálvez, who in 1857 urged the government of Castile to grant Callao the title of "Constitutional Province of Callao", due to his intervention and strenuous support to the government.

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In the topographic plan of L. Mariani, drawn up in 1855 and corrected by Mariano Paz Soldán in 1862, the line of Constitución street converges with the street called Alameda (from 8 to 11), the same that led to the old Plaza de Acho del Callao, today Plaza Garibaldi. Of its almost 11 streets, the most important are the first 3, due to the architectural quality of its buildings. The importance of these streets is expressed in the unique quality of their architecture, in which block 3 (Cuadra 3) stands out, one of which preserved almost all its traditional buildings, of important invoice, highlighting its balcony and large doors, which is why It was declared a Monumental Urban Environment, by Supreme Resolution No. 2900-72-ED of December 28, 1972.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 

History of the 

Calle Independencia

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The constitutional province of Callao was born urbanistically at the end of the 18th century, after the great earthquake and tsunami of 1746, later the viceregal government built the greatest urban landmark of the port: the Real Felipe Fortress, a military construction on which the town will grow. port city. Independencia Street has a layout of colonial origin, as evidenced by the plan of Ignacio de Roo from the end of the 18th century, characterized since then by its irregular and sinuous layout starting at Adolfo King Avenue until reaching Plaza Matriz del Callao.​

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In its short three streets, republican constructions from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century of great architectural and artistic interest are located, thus it is observed of the buildings that conserve on their facades closed box balconies of neoclassical characteristics, representative of the building house of Callao. This street, as well as that of Jirón Constitución, has been the scene of important historical events for local and national history, among others such as the Independence of Peru and the Combat of Dos de Mayo in 1865.

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In its short three streets, republican constructions from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century of great architectural and artistic interest are located, thus it is observed of the buildings that preserve on their facades closed box balconies with neoclassical characteristics, representative of the building house of Callao. This street, as well as that of Jirón Constitución, has been the scene of important historical events for local and national history, among others such as the Independence of Peru and the Combat of Dos de Mayo in 1865.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 

Casa Ronald - Pasaje Ronald

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The Ronald Building constitutes one of the most important urban landmarks of the monumental Callao because it breaks with the local architecture of the Chalaco port. It is a sumptuous and monumental building ordered to be built by Mr. Guillermo Ronald y Padilla, owner of various factories and companies dedicated to the importation and sale of merchandise both in Callao and La Punta. Mr. Ronald, a resident of Callao and with a broad vision of architecture, inaugurated the modern building in 1928 for institutional, commercial, and residential use.

It is a neoclassical style building, five stories high, the property is characterized by its symmetrical façade, and by its double-height central passage that connects the Independencia shred with the Constitución shred, giving a spatial continuity with the Ecuador Passage. The journalistic notes of the time describe it as one of the most important buildings in Callao, built with reinforced concrete and steel beams, with Italian marble and mosaics, cedarwood, and glass with a metallic and striated structure. Also noteworthy of the property is the interior passage known as Pasaje Ronald, whose interior is decorated with marble, as well as busts of figures of art and science. Due to its architectural quality and the originality in its design and distribution, the Ronal Building is declared a historical monument. Likewise, in 2011 and 2015 the Ronald Building was chosen by the Casacor organization (Decoration, architecture, and art event in Latin America) to host the Casacor Peru exhibition, highlighting one of the most emblematic buildings in the urban and architectural history of Callao.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

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The Port of Callao

The first known Callao pier was built under the mandate of the Viceroy Conde de la Monclova in 1654, whose structure was built on a rock jetty (rock pier). In 1694, travelers pointed out the existence of an excellent stone pier that occupied the site called "Puerta de la Marina del Callao", which had been built with stones extracted from the island of San Lorenzo and from the pre-Hispanic fortress of Huarco in Cañete.

 

The pier was enclosed by walls of stone, adobe, brick, and lime. There were other smaller piers that were used for embarkation and disembarkation operations. It characterizes the architecture of the port and city of Callao, buildings of mixed-use, destined in its first floors to commerce (offices, warehouses, warehouses) and the second to housing and particularly lodging and inns. The materials of the houses follow the patterns bequeathed by the colonial period: houses with stone bases (some near the sea also had subways), rammed earth, and adobe walls (some used the walls of the old colonial warehouses as a base) and quincha indoors and tall plants. The predominant style is the so-called "republican" style, with a neoclassical influence. Box balconies were developed, similar to those in Lima, and continuous balconies.

Some houses had high vantage points. The presence of merchants from all over the world, especially Italians, gave some buildings an Italianate character. In 1866 the port of Callao was the scene of the Combat of May 2, in which civil and military forces together confronted the Spanish Navy stationed in front of the port and ready to destroy it, as had happened with Valparaíso. Along the sea line a series of defenses were established. The Minister of War José Gálvez led from the tower of La Merced, who died when the powder magazine exploded, hit by an enemy shot. However, the fierce resistance from the port forced the Spanish force to leave Peruvian territory permanently. In commemoration of this event the “Plaza 2 de Mayo” was born, then “José Gálvez”.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 

The Iglesia Matriz

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The parent church of Callao is the main religious building in the port city and belongs to the Diocese of Callao, created by Pope Paul VI in 1967 through the bull Aptiorem Ecclesiarum. In 1995 it was elevated to the category of Cathedral by Pope Saint John Paul II. It is located between the traditional Constitución Gálvez and Miller streets, facing the Plaza Matriz. Its current invocation is that of Saint Joseph.

 

The old Callao mother church destroyed by the 1746 earthquake and tsunami, which was located at the entrance to the Chucuito neighborhood, in 1833, when the new port city of Callao was born, the rich Italian merchant Antonio Dañino promoted, with the support of other merchants settled there, the construction of a temple and designated as its location the one it currently has. This first church was dedicated to San Judas Tadeo and San Simón El Zelote, who according to tradition took care of the Bay of Callao from time immemorial

 

Destroyed by a fire, a new work was started from the foundations in 1866 when Mariano Ignacio Prado was president, but the construction lasted for many years, until 1893, after the war with Chile. Its materials were the traditional ones of the colonial-republican Peruvian architecture: with stone foundations, adobe walls, quincha, and wood components. The style of the new temple was the characteristic of the temples in vogue at the time of the academic influence of neoclassical orientation.

 

In October 1966, the mother church was seriously affected by the earthquake of October 17 of that year, and for many years was in a situation of serious deterioration. In 1991, after a first unsuccessful restoration that began in 1987, CORDE-CALLAO financed the total reconstruction of the church, which was entrusted to a team chaired by the architect Víctor Pimentel Garmendia, opting to formally reproduce the old church, but with materials modern. The work was inaugurated on September 16, 1995, and consecrated as the Cathedral of Callao. The exterior and interior lighting were inaugurated on November 26, 2002.

ELVIRA MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

 

The Casa Valega

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The property is located in one of the most important arteries of old Callao, both along the Jirón Gálvez and Independencia there are elements of notable artistic and urban value, highlighting of this property its balconies of exceptional manufacture that, next to the Plaza Matriz, maintain an urban harmony as a whole. It is a two-level building for commercial housing, dating from the second half of the 19th century.

 

Its construction is associated with the Valegas, a family of prosperous Italian merchants who arrived in Peru in the first great wave of migration in the first decades of the 19th century. Felix Valega arrived at the port of Callao in 1806 and quickly managed to acquire a great fortune, is one of the main financiers of the construction of the mother church of Callao. Due to its architectural merits, Casa Valega has been declared a Monument of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation by Supreme Resolution No. 2900-72-ED of December 28, 1972.

 

MILAGROS VALENZUELA SALDAÑA

Historian of the Directorate of Real Estate Historical Heritage

Ministry of Culture of Peru

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