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Cerro San Cristobal

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, August 7, 2009



Located in the colonial district of Rímac in the Heart of Lima is the hill (cerro) San Cristobal. The Spanish had first placed a wooden cross atop of the hill in 1535 and in 1536 it was destroyed by the invading incan forces of Tawantinsuyu. A battle between roughly 25 thousand indiginous warriors and 500 Spanish soldiers ensued in Rímac valley. It was through the help of reinforcements that the Spanish were able to gain the advantage over their combatants thus causing their retreat from the battlefield. After the battle the famous Spainard Francisco Pizzaro inaugerated the second cross, naming it after the Saint Cristobal for the day in which the battle was won.



Cerro San Cristobal is situated 400 meters above sea level and provides visitors with a beautiful 360 degree view of the Lima (la cuidad de los reyes). On a clear day one can see as far as the shores of Chorrillos as well as the ships in Callao.

To reach the the top of the hill are private buses that currently charge S/. 5 per person, this covers the return as well. For those interested in heading up to San Cristobal I would recommend taking one of the many bus tour services that can found near the Palacio del Gobierno in the Plaza de Armas. I recently took the tour with my girlfriend and found it quite pleasant, not only did the service provide us with a way to reach the top from the city but it also provided patrons with a informational tour guide that discussed the history of the hill as well as the district of Rímac.



Once at the top the visitors can chose from various locations with which to view the city below. It is said that if it is your first time visiting the cross that the visitor is granted three wishes. For those of you who have been there before you are allowed one wish. The wishes are made at the shine that rests at the foot of the cross. There is even a museum that was built during Fujimori's presidency that is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 0900-2200. I would definately recommend heading up to the hill just before sunset so that the traveller has the opportunity to view the city as the sunsets, it is truely beautiful.


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