28 Jul

Bicentennial Celebration of the Independence of Peru

The bicentenary of our independence is a platform of events that allow new generations to value and learn from their historical past. But Independence is not limited to a single specific event in time; it was the framework of a series of historical events in which our entire society participated in time and space.

And if today it allows us to reflect in the most balanced way on the meaning of our freedom and independence. It is also an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of its people and territories, where acts of supreme courage and loyalty to our homeland took place.

That is why we bring to your attention some interesting stories of heroic cities and their communities’ efforts to build a prosperous society, which are worth visiting. Through the spirit of solidarity and cooperation they were able to contribute to the achievement of our precious independence.

Our route follows the chronology of liberation from San Martin and the Proclamation of Independence to Simon Bolivar and the consolidation of the Independence of the Americas at the Battle of Ayacucho.


Around 20 August 1820, Don José de San Martín set sail from Valparaíso (Chile), carrying 4,500 men who made up the great “Liberating Army of Peru”, and disembarked on the beach at Paracas (near Pisco).

Here in Paracas, on 21 October 1820, General José de San Martín created the first Peruvian flag by decree. The crossing of two diagonal lines divided the flag into four fields. The upper and lower spaces were white, while the ends were red.


During the first months of 1821 the towns north of Lima rose up one by one and, in the city of Trujillo, the Marquis of Torre-Tagle hoisted the new Peruvian flag and swore the oath of independence. After gaining these advantages without committing himself to formal combat, the Liberator laid siege to Lima and on 12 July entered the city. On 14 July, San Martin, now installed in the Viceroy’s Palace, invited the City Council to swear the oath of independence. The “Quinta de los Libertadores” in Magdalena. This mansion was built in 1818 by the penultimate Spanish viceroy, Don Joaquín de la Pezuela, under the name of Palacio de la Magdalena. 

The property was expropriated by San Martin from the Spanish crown after independence. This mansion served as the residence of San Martín between 1821 and 1822, and of Simón Bolívar from 1823 to 1826. The two most famous tenants of this mansion are revealing about the personalities of the liberators: in the case of San Martín, the objects emphasise his connection with the first laws of independence, such as the partial abolition of slavery, omitting all details of his private life. With Bolívar, on the other hand, the opposite is true. Bolivar lived here with his mistress Manuelita Saenz.

The Balcony of Huaura

According to tradition, General José de San Martín first proclaimed the independence of Peru on 27 November 1820 in Huaura. The house was acquired by the government in 1921 and nowadays it houses the Historical Museum “Generalísimo José de San Martín”.


Colonial mansion, which in the summer of 1824, became the General Headquarters of the Liberator Don Simón Bolívar. It exhibits the furniture composed of embossed leather seats and backrests, photographs and documents referring to the stay of the Liberator. We will also visit the Bolivarian Museum of Pativilca where the first editorial written by the Liberator and the printing press that published the first issues of the newspaper El Peruano are still preserved.
On 29th October 1825, Don Simón Bolívar founded the newspaper El Peruano in this city.


Here, in front of this ancient stone cross, located at the foot of the Santa Apolonia hill, he would pronounce the third oath of his life.
The story goes that Simón Bolívar took three oaths in his life, the first on 22 January 1803 on the death of his wife María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alayza in Caracas, where he swore not to remarry, and he did. The second oath he took on 15 August 1805 in Rome on the hill of Monte Sacro, Simón Bolívar promised to break the chains of Spanish oppression.
His third oath he took on 17 December 1823 precisely before the Stone Cross where Bolívar, according to the commemorative plaque, “swore to avenge the death of Atahualpa” and set out to vindicate the right of a race to the freedom it lost with the imprisonment and sacrifice of the last Inca.


This is the mansion where the Marquis of Torre Tagle prepared the declaration of independence of Trujillo on the 29th of December 1820. It was the seat of the First Constituent Congress and later the house from which President Riva Agüero governed. By 1823 there were two governments in Peru, the Marquis of Torre Tagle was in charge of the Peruvian presidency in Lima and another government had been formed in Trujillo under the presidency of Don José de la Riva Agüero.


In 1824, the Liberator Simón Bolívar used it as his residence, from where he organised a large part of the emancipation campaign and promulgated decrees declaring Trujillo the capital of the Republic of Peru and creating the Superior Court of Justice, among others.


This house is considered to be the most beautiful in South America. It was built in 1842 in neoclassical style. The house is a replica of a Florentine palace of the Renaissance. It is one of the few two-storey houses. The second level in front of the courtyard has been omitted and has only colonnades for better ventilation. The floor is made of Spanish flagstone and marble from Italy. The external windows have the unique Trujillo crowns in wrought iron in the form of a comb like those of Lambayeque. Its owner Juan Manuel Iturregui, (1795-1871) was a hero of the Independence which he supported economically.

The Bicentenary of our independence will allow us not only to honour our past, but also to reconcile ourselves with the present, to harmonize with our environment and, by visiting the tourist attractions related to the history of our Bicentenary, to dream of a better future.

by: Sixto Chavez

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