When you look at maps of Peruvian cities, you’ll notice every city includes a Plaza de Armas or aPlaza Mayor. For the Spanish, a city’s Plaza de Armas was the center of administrative, military, and religious power. These plazas aren’t always the largest or most centrally located squares, as many of Peru’s cities have changed a great deal since the Spanish first colonized Peru. But in many cities they remain excellent showcases of some of the city’s oldest and most elaborate architecture.
Major cities fill their Plazas de Armas with bright flowers and glossy palms. In every Plaza de Armas you’ll find a cathedral facing the plaza. These plazas remain important cultural centers, with museums, galleries, and restaurants in every direction.