Plaza de Armas by night, Peru, Lima
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Panoramic photo by Thomas Humeau EXPERT Taken 09:22, 14/03/2010 - Views loading...

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Plaza de Armas by night, Peru, Lima

The World > South America > Peru

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The Plaza de Armas (Plaza of Arms) is the name for the main square in many Latin American cities. In Mexico this space is known as El Zócalo, and in Central America as Parque Central (Central Park). While some large cities have both a Plaza de Armas and a Plaza Mayor, in most cities those are two names for the same place.

Most cities constructed by the Spanish Conquistadores were designed on a standard military fashion based on a grid pattern, taken from the RomanCastrum, of which one of the blocks would be left vacant to form the Plaza de Armas. It is often surrounded by governmental buildings, churches, and other structures of cultural or political significance. The name derives from the fact that this would be a refuge in case of an attack upon the city, from which arms would be supplied to the defenders.

The Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima, is the birthplace of the city of Lima, as well as the core of the city. Located in the Historic Centre of Lima, it is surrounded by the Government PalaceCathedral of LimaArchbishop's Palace of Lima, the Municipal Palace, and the Palace of the Union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_de_Armas

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This panorama was taken in Peru, South America

This is an overview of South America

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To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

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