El centro histórico de Lima da testimonio de la arquitectura y el urbanismo de una ciudad colonial española de gran importancia política, económica y cultural en América Latina. San Francisco de Lima es un ejemplo sobresaliente de un conjunto convento de los períodos coloniales en América Latina y, junto con Santa Catalina de Arequipa, es uno de los más completos.
Declaratoria del conjunto del Convento de San Francisco como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad
En 1998 a través de la Decisión 12COM XIVA, el Comité del Patrimonio Mundial declaró al conjunto del Convento de San Francisco patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. El valor universal excepcional del Convento de San Francisco fue sustentado en los criterios ii) y IV) de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial. La decisión, asimismo, definió los criterios relativos a la autenticidad y la integridad del bien.
Declaratoria del Centro Histórico de Lima como Patrimonio Cultural de la humanidad, incluyendo el Convento de San Francisco
El Comité , en su decimo quinta sesión, realizada en Cartago, entre el 9 y el 11 de diciembre de 1991, decisión de ampliar el alcance de la declaratoria del Convento de San Francisco como patrimonio de la humanidad, al conjunto del Centro Histórico de Lima. El valor universal excepcional del Centro Histórico de Lima se sustento en el criterio iV) de la Convención del Patrimonio mundial.
Síntesis histórica del bien
The Historic Centre of Lima, known as the "Ciudad de los Reyes" (City of Kings), is located in the Rimac valley, and was founded by Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro in January 1535 on the territories led by the Chiefdomof Rimac. Lima was the political, administrative, religious and economic capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and themost important city of the Spanish dominions in South America. The city played a leading role in the history of the Viceroyalties of New Granada (1718) and of LaPlata (1777) gradually put an end to the omnipotence of the oldest Spanish colony on South America.
The evangelization process brought several religious orders by the end of the XVI century. They gained greatrecognition which translated into the construction of many churches and convents of great extension andsophistication. Also, hospitals, schools and universities were built. San Marcos University was built in 1551. Thecity's social and cultural life was organized within these places, thus giving the Historic Centre a convent image
There, top level artistic creation andproduction took place and influenced most regions in South America. The demographic change, from the colonial city to today, explains the serious modifications to the urban landscape. Scant trace of the historic centre of Limacan be seen in the present metropolitan area, with the exception of a few remarkable ensembles - the Plaza deArmas (with the cathedral, Sagrario chapel, archbishop's palace), the Plaza de la Vera Cruz with Santo Domingo,and especially the monumental complex of the convent of San Francisco. Although urban development in the20th century - the construction of the Avenida Abancay in 1940 - has whittled away at this immense domain, SanFrancisco still presents an ensemble of convent buildings that is remarkable for its surface area, its coherence,the beauty of the architecture and the richness of interior decorations.
Many of the public works built during the viceroyalty period are important Historic monuments today, such as thebridge of stone over the Rímac river, the Paseo de Aguas, the Alameda de los Descalzos and the Plaza de de Acho located in the current district of Rimac, and the General Cemetery, currently called Presbítero MatíasMaestro. In the XVII century, the city was surrounded by walls until 1870. During this period, Lima's architecturechanged due to several strong earthquakes in 1586, 1687 and 1746. Therefore, buildings were stabilized withadobe and bricks on the first floor and quincha (used during pre-Hispanic times) on the second, thus improvingstructural behaviour during earthquakes. Civil architecture was characterized by facades, hallways, patios andparticularly closed –or "box"- balconies, which slightly varied in style and type during the Republican period, untilthe end of the XIX century when urban "modernization" started and new architectonic European oriented styles,were introduced. The historic monuments (religious or public buildings, such as the Torre Tagle palace) which liewithin the perimeter of the World Heritage site date from the 17th and 18th centuries and are typical examples of Hispano-American Baroque. The architecture of the other buildings is often representative of the same period.
Thus, despite the addition of certain 19th-century constructions (such as Casa Courret in the Art Nouveau style)to the old urban fabric, the historic nucleus of the town recalls Lima at the time of the Spanish Kingdom of Peru.
Valor universal excepcional(VUE)
Criterio iv : Convencion del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The Historic Centre of Lima bears witness to the architecture and urban development of a Spanishcolonial town of great political, economic and cultural importance in Latin America. It represents an outstanding expression of a regional cultural process, which preserves its architectural, technological, typological, aesthetic,historic and urban values adapted in terms of availability of materials, climate, earthquakes and the requirements of society. San Francisco de Lima is an outstanding example of a convent ensemble of the colonial periods inLatin America and is one of the most complete.
Though seriously damaged by earthquakes (1940, 1966, 1970 and 1974), the area delimited as the Historic Centre of Lima has all the elements and physical characteristics that convey its Outstanding Universal Value,within a wide enough extension, including besides the urban tracing, the San Francisco Convent, and several testimonies of domestic, public, religious, military and industrial civil architecture from the XVII to the XX century A.D.
Also, the urban and building characteristics remain in the buffer zone, where many constructions mainly from theXIX and the beginning of XX centuries A.D are found that witness the urban development of the Historic Centre. Besides the natural deterioration which affects the material integrity of the buildings, the Historic Centre of Lima suffers from additional factors that degrade it in terms of physical, environmental, and urban image. The most evident of these are the uncontrolled commercial exploitation of ancient structures altered to build "popular commercial centres" and the strong presence of public and private transportation generating pollution and vibrations. In addition, the population is increasing as a result of emigration originating from the other regions of the country to the Historic Centre (1940: 400,000; 1990: 7´000,000 inhabitants). These immigrants live, for a very low price, in historic traditional buildings with owners who moved to new urban peripheral areas causing too many people to live under the same roof thus deteriorating and overusing those structures. Abandonment in their conservation and maintenance -due to lack of interest, negligence, poor understanding of functional and cultural values by users and authorities, as well as lack of human resources- is also evident. These conditions will need to be systematically and coherently addressed to ensure that the conditions of integrity are preserved. Public buildings, temples and convents are generally better conserved.
The authenticity of the Historic Centre of Lima is intact as it largely preserves the original features of its urban foundation design, as a checkerboard, and the expansion area from the XVI to the XIX century, including old preHispanic paths heading North (Chinchaysuyo) and East (Antisuyo).
Public, private and religious buildings generally preserve their architectural, technological, typological, aesthetic, historic and urban values, which are a result of the implantation of European styles from different stages of thecity's historic evolution process from the XVI to the XX century. These buildings also adapted to the regionalenvironment in terms of availability of materials, weather, earthquakes and society requirements. Likewise, theuse, functions and traditions related to the city's life grant the Historic Centre its own character, singularity andidentity. It represents a unique and unrepeatable expression of a regional cultural process, notwithstanding theearthquakes, real estate speculation and informal commerce, among other aspects. However, the conditions ofauthenticity are threatened by inappropriate interventions which will need to be controlled through theenforcement of precise regulations and guidelines.
Último informe del Perú sobre el estado de conservación (2015)