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When Francisco Pizarro founded Lima in January 1535, he imagined a city that with its imposing churches, rigid straight lines, and division of power would symbolize Spanish domination of the Incas and South America. He created an enduring symbol of Spanish rule but ultimately a city very different than the one that he imagined. While the European invaders envisioned a bifurcated world of Spanish and “Indians,” within decades the city also counted on a significant African population and expanding mixed-race groups. Indians refused to remain in the Indian quarters traced out in the city’s eastern areas, and further immigration from Asia and Europe added to the city’s social mix. These selections underline not only the city’s diversity but also its rich public life and the religious processions and rituals that marked Lima in the colonial period.

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