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‘Balconies of Lima & Cuzco, Peru’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

The balconies of Peru, and especially those of  Lima and Cuzco, are  a cultural heritage built during the Spanish colonial regime as well as in the republican era in Peru. These balconies were built since the Spanish founded Lima in 1535.In Lima, most of these were built in the late 17th and 18th centuries, hence structures are located in the historical center of Lima.  These balconies, made of carved wood, in the Arab-moresque style of Spain,  are closed balconies, also called box balconies.

one-of-the-most-famous-balconies-in-lima                                                                                                          One of the most famous balconies of Lima

As per the customs of these immigrants, it was considered inappropriate for their women go outdoors.  These windows permitted the ladies of Lima’s high society to watch the scene in the street below without having to venture  out. The windows also  display railings,  typical in northern Africa which helped to keep the building cool and give shade in the peculiar climates of rainless  Morocco and Lima.


An election rally in a street with various balconies  in Cuzco.


I spotted this balcony in the back garden of a hotel in Lima


A balcony with a coat of arms in Lima.


A balcony beingused as a show window in Cuzco.


Differennt syles of balconies in a road in Cuzco.

No two balconies are alike in Lima town.

 Mayor of Lima,  Mr. Alberto Andrade, asked the city to “Adopt a Balcony”, with the purpose of recover and preserve the balconies, and  to give identity to the city.The response was overwhelming. An organisation called Prolima, made a study and inventory of the balconies and determined their condition, and worked out the requirement of the investment required. Many private and public institutions  came forward to help the project. Various countries like the U.K., Germany and Swizerland restored a balcony each. India too joined in restoring a balcony.  There are approximately 100 totally restored balconies.

And besides Lima and Cuzco, there are lovely balconies in other towns of Peru too.


Text and photographs by K.J.S.Chatrath


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