Trujillo is a city in coastal northwestern Peru and the capital of La Libertad Region. It is the third most populous city and center of the second most populous metropolitan area of Peru. It is located on the banks of the Moche River, near its mouth at the Pacific Ocean, in the Moche Valley. This was a site of the great prehistoric Moche and Chimu cultures before the Inca conquest and subsequent expansion.
The Independence of Trujillo from Spain was proclaimed in the Historic Centre of Trujillo on December 29, 1820, and the city was honored in 1822 by the Congress of the Republic of Peru with the title “Meritorious City and Faithful to the Fatherland”, for its role in the fight for Peruvian independence. Trujillo is the birthplace of Peru’s judiciary, and it was twice designated as the capital of the country. It was the scene of the Revolution of Trujillo in 1932. Trujillo is considered the “cradle of liberty and cradle of the judiciary in Peru”.
Trujillo is also known as the “City of Everlasting Spring”, is considered the “Capital of the Marinera”, a traditional dance in Peru, “Cradle of the Peruvian Paso horse”, as well as the “Capital of Culture of Peru”. It has sponsored numerous national and international cultural events, and has a lively arts community. Current festivals include the “National Marinera Festival”, the Trujillo Spring Festival and the International Book Festival, which is one of the most important cultural events in the country.
Trujillo is close to two major archeological sites of pre-Columbian monuments: Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the ancient world, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986; and the temples of the Sun and Moon (the largest adobe pyramid in Peru).
The city center contains many examples of colonial and religious architecture, often incorporating distinctive wrought ironwork. It includes residential areas, a central business district, and industrial supply distribution to the various districts. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Trujillo has its seat here. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion and 10 colonial churches are located within the old city wall, now encircled by Avenida España; additional churches in the towns of Huamán, Huanchaco and Moche are located within 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) of Trujillo’s centre.
Since 2011, the city has been developing the pilot project Trujillo: Sustainable City, as part of the platform “Emerging and Sustainable Cities of the Inter-American Development Bank”, in cooperation with the IDB. In 2012 Trujillo was selected by IBM to participate in a “Smarter Cities Challenge” project intended to improve public safety and transportation through technology.
Trujillo is considered the “Capital of Culture of Peru” for the prominent writers associated with the city such as Cesar Vallejo and Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, and because the city is a center for important cultural expressions as the marinera dance, Peruvian paso horses, caballitos de totora, Trujillo’s gastronomy, etc. The North Group was formed here, with Eduardo González Viaña and Gerardo Chavez as successors. The city presents important national festivals, such as Marinera Festival, Spring Festival, and competitions for the paso horse and caballito de totora.
The history of Trujillo has its beginning in ancient times, as the area at the mouth of the Moche River was long a center of successive pre-European cultures. They extended their domains along the northern coast of Peru.
The archaeological history of this region goes back to the early pre-ceramic period. For example, Huaca Prieta was occupied as early as 4700 BC.
Several ancient cultures developed in this area: the Cupisnique, the Moche and Chimu. Numerous archaeological sites and monumental remains attest to the high degree of complexity of these civilizations.
Among the Cupisnique culture sites are Caballo Muerto and Huaca Prieta.
The Moche culture sites include huacas: the Temples of the Sun and Moon south of the city, the Huaca del Dragón (or Rainbow Huaca) and the Huaca Esmeralda to the north, and others.
The Chimu culture built its primary settlement at what is known as Chan Chan, which was the capital, having an estimated 100,000 people at its peak. It is the largest pre-Columbian city built of adobe and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its remains are 5 km (3 miles) northwest of the current city center. The present Spanish–Peruvian city of Trujillo was founded in an ancestral territory populated by ancient indigenous civilizations. The Spanish founded new cities expressing their culture in what they called the “Viceroyalty of Peru”.
The Moche civilization flourished in northern Peru with its Huacas del Sol y de la Luna from about AD 100 to 800, during the Regional Development Epoch. The people likely had formed into a group of autonomous polities that shared a common elite culture, as seen in the rich iconography and monumental architecture that survive today. They are particularly noted for their elaborately-painted ceramics, gold work, monumental constructions (huacas) and irrigation systems.
Moche history is broadly divided into three periods – the emergence of the Moche culture in the Early Moche (AD 100–300), its expansion and florescence during the Middle Moche (300–600), and the urban nucleation and subsequent collapse in the Late Moche (500–750). Moche society was agriculture-based, and the cultural leaders invested in the construction of a network of irrigation canals for the diversion of river water to supply the crops. Their culture was sophisticated; and their artifacts fully express their lives, including scenes of hunting, fishing, fighting, sacrifice, elaborate ceremonies, and sexual acts.
The Chimu built and occupied a territory known as Chimor, with its capital at the city of Chan Chan, a large adobe city in the Valley of Moche (around which present-day Trujillo city developed). The culture arose about 900 and flourished into the 14th century. The Inca ruler Tupac Inca Yupanqui led a campaign which conquered the Chimu in around 1470.
This was just 50 years before the arrival of the Spanish in the region. Consequently, Spanish chroniclers recorded accounts of Chimu culture from persons who had lived before the Inca conquest. Similarly, archaeological evidence suggest Chimor emerged from the remnants of Moche culture; early Chimu pottery had some resemblance to that of the Moche. Their ceramics are all-black, and their work in precious metals is very detailed and intricate. In the Late Chimu period, about 12,000 artisans lived and worked in Chan Chan alone. They engaged in fishing, agriculture, craft work, and trade. Artisans were forbidden to change their profession, and were grouped together in the citadel according to their area of specialization. Archeologists have noted a dramatic rise in the volume of Chimu craft production, which they attribute to artisans having been brought to Chan Chan from another area taken in conquest. As there is evidence of both metalwork (generally a male specialty) and weaving (a female art) in the same domestic dwelling, it is likely that both men and women were artisans. The men engaged in fishing, heavy agriculture (aided by irrigation and earthworks), and metallurgy. The women made ceramics and textiles (from spun and dyed cotton, llama, alpaca, and vicuña wool). People used reed fishing canoes, hunted, and traded using bronze coins.
Trujillo was one of the first cities in the Americas founded by the Spanish conquistadors. They arrived in an area that had been inhabited and developed for thousands of years by the indigenous peoples. According to historian Napoleón Cieza Burga, the conquistador Diego de Almagro founded the first settlement on November 1534, calling it Trujillo of New Castile after Trujillo, the home city of Francisco Pizarro. It was founded among four Chimu settlements: Huanchaco, Huamán, Moche and Mampuesto, to create an alliance against the Incas. On November 23, 1537, King Charles I of Spain gave the town the rank of ‘city’ and the coat of arms that remains a symbol for the city; it was the first city in Peru to receive a coat of arms from the king. By 1544 Trujillo had around 300 homes and 1,000 inhabitants, and an economy booming from the cultivation of sugar cane, wheat, and other food crops and the raising of livestock.
The Spanish colonists welcomed a diverse array of religious orders from the time of its founding, and there was a boom in church construction in the city during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1577 Pope Gregory XIII created the Diocese of Trujillo, and in 1616 construction work commenced on the cathedral.
On February 14, 1619, Trujillo was struck by an earthquake, resulting in the near-total destruction of the city and the deaths of around 400 of its inhabitants. Rebuilding was slow. The people developed a devotion to Saint Valentine, on whose day the earthquake hit. The Jesuits opened a seminary and school for the education and training of priests; they also served as missionaries to the indigenous peoples, as they introduced Christianity
Due to the proximity of the city to the sea (about 4 km [2.5 miles] away) and the danger of attack by pirates and privateers, the Wall of Trujillo was built for defense during the reign of Viceroy Melchor de Navarra and Rocafull and the city mayors Bartolome Martinez and Fernando Ramirez Jarabeitia Orellana. This wall was built by an Italian architect, Giuseppe Formento, who began construction on February 19, 1687. Formento based his design on that by Leonardo da Vinci for the Italian city of Florence. The wall was designed in an elliptical shape to save costs in its construction, and was completed in 1689. The wall reached a perimeter of 5.5 km (3.4 miles) and used more than 100,000 bricks. The defensive structure was composed of 15 bastions, 15 shades and 5 covered gates.
The Huamán Gate was oriented westward to the road to the village of the same name. The Mansiche Gate was located to the north, giving way to the highway. The Miraflores Gate opened to the east. The Sierra Gate was named after the road leading to this region. Lastly, the Moche Gate gave access to people coming from the south. In 1942 the city developed a master plan; following the path of the ancient wall, it built Avenida España to encircle the area now called the Historical Center of Trujillo.
In the latter half of the 17th century, severe droughts and pestilence caused a major economic crisis for the city, which depended on agriculture. Trujillo regained prominence in the 18th century, in part due to the destruction of the city of Saña by flooding in 1720. Trujillo also suffered from flooding in 1701, 1720, 1728 and 1814; and earthquakes in 1725 and 1759.
By 1760 an estimated 9,200 people were living in the vicinity of the city. The foundation of the Municipality of Trujillo in 1779 coincided with a peak of prosperity for the city. Numerous undeveloped lots remained within the city walls but Trujillo was regarded as one of the most important cities in Northern Peru during the colonial era.
Inspired by liberal ideas from members of its educational institutions, Trujillo became a principal centre of Peruvian republican sentiments. Led by the city mayor and intendant José Bernardo de Tagle, the Intendancy of Trujillo declared its independence from Spain on December 29, 1820.
Between 1821 and 1825 the Trujillo region was the only stable and productive land within the nascent republic. In 1823 Trujillo took on the role of the first capital city of the Republic of Peru. On July 19, 1823 the Peruvian Congress located here repeated its invitation to Simón Bolívar, a leader in Bolivia, to join the war of independence. In 1824 the city received the liberation army of Bolívar, and was again designated as the seat of government. It is the only city to have twice been designated as the capital.
The years following the revolution saw the growth in the economic influence of the city, compensating for a loss of political power to Lima when it was designated as the capital, which instead suffered from the resulting political turmoil. The Moche and Chicama valleys emerged as new economic enclaves for the sugar cane industry. Land was increasingly concentrated in large estates and a new “agricultural aristocracy” developed that was linked to and influenced national political power. The policy of free trade and openness to foreign investment attracted an influx of Europeans, principally from Britain and Germany. By then, Trujillo had a population of 15,000 and began to grow beyond the city walls. New architectural styles were adopted, influenced by French and English Romanticism.
During the War of the Pacific against Chile between 1879 and 1883, Trujillo contributed troops towards national defence. Although never a site of battle, Trujillo suffered from occupation by Chilean troops and their plundering of the surrounding countryside.
It is considered the “First Independent City of Peru” for three reasons: it proclaimed independence from Spain on December 24, 1820 at the historical “Casa de la Emancipación” (House of Emancipation). Its leaders signed the declaration of independence at the Seminario de San Carlos y San Marcelo and proclaimed independence to an open council meeting in the Plaza de Armas, on December 29, 1820. Finally, on January 6, 1821 its leaders ratified the agreement and the proclamation of the independence of this city, as stated in the document called Libro rojo (the Red Book) of the Trujillo council.
Their actions gained independence for almost all of northern Peru, because the government of Trujillo city ruled what is now the regions of Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Cajamarca, San Martín and Amazonas. Marquis of Torre Tagle said, “My people. From this time for the unanimous will of the people, Trujillo is free. I put our fate and that of people under the protection of Heaven! Long live the homeland! Long live independence!”
Trujillo is located at an altitude of 34 metres (112 feet) on a coastal strip in the west of the province of Trujillo, in the old valley of Chimor today known as the Moche or Santa Catalina Valley. Its main square is located at.
8°6′3″S 79°1′34″W / 8.10083°S 79.02611°W / -8.10083; -79.02611 longitude at an altitude of 31.16 metres (102.23 feet) above sea level and lies 4.40 kilometres (2.73 miles) inland from the Pacific Ocean, in a straight line along Avenido Larco.
This city has a mild desert climate (BWh or BWn, according to the Köppen climate classification) and it is known as La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera (city of everlasting spring) because of its sunny and pleasant weather year-round. The International Spring Festival in early October attracts visitors from all over Peru and the world. The city is in an area of mild climate and low rainfall, with moderate temperatures ranging between 14 and 30 °C (57 and 86 °F) due to the Humboldt Current. Trujillo has a warm climate during the day and mild during the night due to the sea breeze. It has an average temperature of 18 °C (64 °F), and the extreme minimum and maximum temperatures fluctuate between 17 and 28 °C (63 and 82 °F) in winter and summer, respectively. Rains are light, sporadic and occur during the afternoon or evening. The Andes and their foothills are very close to the coast, and having a lower elevation relative to the mountains of central and southern Peru, the flow of moist air from the Amazon region, which converges with the sea breezes from the west, favors during the summer a higher frequency of light showers. According to the climate classification of Thornthwaite, city of Trujillo would correspond to an arid climate type with no rain during all seasons.
The parts of the city closest to the sea experience haze during the morning and usually the temperature is lower than in the central and upper parts of the city. However, during the phenomenon of El Niño the climate varies, mainly the rainfall, with less intensity than in regions located north of the city, and the temperature can also be lifted.
Tourism is a major industry in Trujillo due to the city’s proximity to important sites where the Moche and Chimu civilizations evolved. These civilizations had highly skilled artisans, and many of their artifacts having been found during archaeological digs in the city. Nearby ruins include the Chimu adobe city of Chan Chan, the world’s largest city built from that material. It is sometimes called Ciudad de la Luna (City of the Moon) because the people worshipped the moon; or de las Largas Murallas (of the Long Walls). In size and complexity, it has been compared with Teotihuacan in Mexico, and the ancient cities of Egypt. Other nearby ruins are the Moche ruins of Huaca del Sol, Huaca de la Luna, Huaca del Dragón o Arco Iris, Huaca Esmeralda and El Brujo.
Trujillo aspires to be designated a World Heritage Site, because of the proximity of both cultures and its historical colonial city centre, whose historic casonas (mansions) attract many visitors. The mansions and manors of Trujillo are distinguished for their solemn and austere façades. Inside, their halls are overflowing with ornaments.
Trujillo’s wrought-iron window railings are a unique feature of the mansions. The House of Ganoza-Chopitea (casa Ganoza) has a polychromatic front in the baroque style, crowned by a rococo frontispiece and two lions. It is the city’s most representative example of casonas architecture. Another is the House of Mayorazgo, which was built in the early years of the city and holds one of Peru’s greatest numismatic collections. The revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar lived in a house on the Plaza de Armas.
The world-famous beach Huanchaco, a surfing destination, is located just north of Trujillo.
Trujillo’s restaurants offer a wide variety of local food, such as shambar, mostly served on Mondays; ceviche, sopa teologa and cabrito.
Currently the Moche Route is a tourist destination starting in what was formerly the seat of government of the Moche culture in the Temples of the Sun and the Moon, about four miles (6.4 kilometres) south of the historic center of Trujillo, and consequently the “Route Moche “can be conceptualized as one in which the tourist can experience the ancient Mochica traditions that endure to this day and which are reflected in the excellence of its cuisine, the work of its people and its beautiful beaches, this in a universe with its own identity. The route covers a number of places that were part of the dominions of the Moche kingdom in its heyday.
The historic centre of Trujillo occupies an area of 133.5ha and consists of a total of 1.783 lots, grouped in 72 blocks are located within the area that was known as the “Fence Trujillo,” and was originally defined by the wall of the ciudad. Currently the historic center of Trujillo is bordered by the España Avenue, it may find many buildings dating from the colonial and republican periods, between attractions offered by the historic center of Trujillo we have the following:
The largest Pre-Columbian city in the Americas, was built by the Chimu, is located north of the city of Trujillo and is one of the most impressive places of Peru, UNESCO declared Chan Chan World Heritage Site in 1986.
The Temples of the Sun and Moon are monuments of Peru, located about five kilometres (3.1 miles) south of Trujillo in the Moche district. This archaeological site represented physically the capital of the Mochica culture from 1st century AD until the 9th century, the museum is next to one of the most visited places in the northern city of Trujillo. The Temple of the Moon or Huaca de la Luna has been considered as a religious center of the mochicas.
Located three blocks from the temple of Mansiche, urbanization La Esmeralda. The temple is a rectangular building about 65 by 41 metres (213 by 135 feet). Consists of two platforms. The first, located at the entrance, is the last stage of construction Chimu, the decor is fishing nets with fish inside. Behind the second platform and the oldest is similar to the Tschudi Palace decorated with designs of the network and the sea otter.
The Huaca del Dragon or as also called, Huaca del Arco Iris is located in the north, in the District of La Esperanza and near Chan Chan. This is a large religious monument, administrative and ceremonial center built in adobe, whose murals are decorated with friezes in relief showing stylized human figures and representing the rainbow.
The manufacturing of ships called Caballito de totora is a tradition in Huanchaco beach. These are used for fishermen in their work and also for navegation of the tourists as a distraction adventure.
Huanchaco is considered a World Surfing Reserve and It is located in Huanchaco District; It is a traditional tourist resort of Trujillo, one can see the rafts called horses of totora used since the time of the Chimu for fishing activities. It also highlights the fishing harbor, icon representing the place. Huanchaco is famous for several things but particularly for being a surfer’s dream spot and for its caballitos de totora. The most famous and original food here is the ceviche.
The district of Moche, is traversed by the Moche River and is home to the Temples of the Sun and the Moon, that were the capital of the Moche culture, countryside centers are also where you can taste typical dishes like soup theologian, in the Moche countryside are located traditional Trujillo restaurants of the “Mochica”; honorable mention deserves the Moche urban area with its main square. The countryside is rich in tradition and history.
Lake Conache is located within a large nature reserve in the village of Conache, in the district of Laredo, has an approximate area of 9 hectares is close to the Pampas de San Juan, jurisdiction of Santo Domingo, Laredo. The big dunes that are around it, are ideal for sandboarding very close to the lagoon is a forest of carob.
Trujillo, has always been the capital of a region whose cultural traditions dating back to at least twelve thousand years old. The existing archaeological sites like the Temple of the Sun and Moon and the city of Chan Chan demonstrate the cities vocation of cultural capital. Trujillo now emerges as a cultural capital, service center and equipment, with its universities, schools and basic technology, they are developing a comprehensive capital and a base for sustained innovations for development.
Located a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas with its coffee bar is one of the most splendid of the city and unique in the country, owned by renowned painter Gerardo Chavez, here you can find toys to mid-20th-century.
Another museum belonging to the painter Gerardo Chavez, is located in the urbanization Semirustica El Bosque, the museum displays works of prominent artists, both national and foreign, and sculptures but also find a coffee bar and souvenir sales, is the first museum of modern art in Peru.
Is considered as a Civic Sanctuary of the city: here the Marquis Torre Tagle conceived the independence of Trujillo in 1820. Also here was Hosted the First Constitutional Congress and the Government Palace with Riva Agüero.Nowadays it hosts cultural exhibitions.It is located on the corner of Jiron Gamarra with Jiron Pizarro streets; is a traditional cultural center for excellence in Trujillo, here are art exhibitions and special ceremonies are performed in the central courtyard. With a well-restored house belonging to Banco Continental, is a must for all tourists seeking culture in Trujillo.
Located at the foot of the Huaca de la Luna in the Moche District, this modern museum was opened in 2010 and it shows the recent archaeological discoveries of the Moche ceremonial religious center. Next to the Mochica monuments is a great touristic circuit for not stop visiting in Trujillo.
The museum is located at the foot of Chan Chan, the largest mud city in Latin America are shown in the most important findings found in the Chimu city as well as studies on political and religious division.
Trujillo city has many national and international festivals. Festivals and events occurring regularly include:
A festival of typical dance is very representative of the city, the national competition is organized by the Club Libertad and takes place the last week of January, couples of dancers from different parts of the country and the world are prepared every year for contest the top of the different categories of competition that draws thousands of tourists every year. It also highlights the marinera parade also with the participation of Peruvian paso horses and typical riders called chalanes through the main streets of the historic center.
Is considered by some as the most representative festival of the city that lives up to the nickname he carries. The festival is one of the most important in Peru and is done in early October of each year, by the Lions Club of La Libertad Region. The first festival was held in 1950, and has been held annually since. The flower festival has a rich and varied program of over a hundred activities to meet the tastes and interests of Trujillo people and thousands of domestic and foreign tourists. The activities are carried out for a month in which the city takes on a festive environment, thousands of domestic and foreign tourists arriving in the town for various events like the coronation of the Queen of Spring, competition horses step, the parade of foreign queens and Spring Corso through the main avenues of the city, where visitors revel in the maneuvers of the Guaripolas. The festival closes with the spring parade or corso and a private party organized by the Lions Club.
Held in the resort of Las Delicias in the district of Moche on March 14, 15 and 16, is a feast day and it has been a tradition with a strong Spanish influence, which are enjoyed various activities for adults, youth and children, party hosts are Don Jose and Dona Josefa and Ms Maja, the event begins with the description of characters, activities, bars, flamenco dancing, etc. This festival is accompanied by a procession of the patron Saint Joseph, the fashion show, the bullfight, the parade of characters, and toromatch pamplonada in which involved several teams from other departments. Some houses are become in Spanish bars decorated with motifs like flags, grimaldas and posters.
Trujillo is considered cradle of Peruvian paso horse and in the city there are contests organized by the Association of Breeders and Owners of Paso Horses in La Libertad, the best known and most important are The National Competition Paso Horses being done within the framework of the International Spring Festival made between September and October and in the Festival and International Competition of Marinera in January. Peruvian government has declared this kind of horses as Nation’s cultural heritage.
The festival took place from the early 20th century in the District of Huanchaco. District residents were emulating the famous Venetian Carnival, when, years later, the carnival was organized by the Huanchaco Club. The carnival has many activities including the crowning of the queen, surf contest, Luau party, Creativity in the Sand. The carnival parade among others, takes place in early February.
The International version began performing since 1977 at the Municipal Theatre with the participation of delegations from many countries of the world being well known, the national version is made with the participation of delegations representing various regions of country.
The city celebrates on April on every year the most important beauty event of the region. Every province of the region is represented by a miss that contest for the miss La Libertad title. This event has been realized in various locations including historical places as the Plaza de armas, the city of Chan Chan, Huanchaco beach etc.
It takes place in the town of Santiago de Huamán The origin of this traditional festival dates back more than 300 years. It is a religious festival that attracts the interest of pilgrims and tourists who visit the historic temple of Santiago de Huaman. The celebration of the festival takes place from 13 to 27 May in honor of the Lord of Huaman; are made novenas, rosary and confessions offered by his faithful devotees. The celebrations also include morning and afternoon sports.
Trujillo’s gastronomy has a tasty and varied variety of dishes, in some cases ancient tradition, are prepared on the basis of fish, shellfish, seaweed, birds, livestock, land, etc., are counted in more than a hundred typical foods. The names of the dishes are almost always original and even natives. Today with the rise of Peruvian food in the city have established many institutes of gastronomy.
Among the most representative dishes include:
In the city of Trujillo is typical the manufacturing and consumption of sweets and a series of traditional alfajores; formerly called Alfajor ofTrujillo that has been manufactured by various candy stores being the best known Dulcería Castañeda, this candy store has become a traditional brand of alfajores in the city; since 1925 they have made alfajores and various giant named alfajor king kong formerly known as “Alfajor of Trujillo”, “Dulcería Castañeda” currently has several locals. Its main products are their alfajores and which are requested as classics sweet souvenirs of the city of the everlasting spring.
Among the highlights typical drinks are chicha of Moche, made of jora; chicha of Magdalena de Cao, etc.
The music and dance that represents to the city is the Marinera, and the city is considered as Capital of Marinera, this dance and choreographic and musical forms in its various regional varieties, has been declared as national cultural heritage. The city has numerous dance academies where they grow this traditional dance, some since very young, also in these academies are preparing many participants from the city to the national competition of this dance held every year in January.