Lima - Peru,  


Classic Peruvian old architecture re-discovered

Chan Chan (900 AC-1440 AC), the capital city of the Chimu kingdom. The biggest terracotta city in the world (monument of humankind according to United Nations) stands in the desert, has nine royal palaces built over time and 800,000 inhabitants living and working around them.

Wide canals bring water from mountains in a sophisticated hydraulic system that still surprises archaeologists. Big walls made of terracotta bricks beautifully decorated with tridimensional designs protect palaces and distribute interior spaces. The construction system helps resist violent earthquakes that punish the zone every now and then and contemporary engineers admire it because of its similarity to modern anti-seismic concepts.

Not far from the urban area, big pyramidal temples (also named "huacas") stand up to celebrate the religious rituals of this sophisticated pre-inca society.(Top Right Picture).


(Further info in "Huacas del Sol y la Luna " at  http:/
(See beautiful pictures at
(See a lot of pictures at http//

This smartly planned city is an excelellent example of urban development. Royal houses have private pools full of clean water coming from springs because the place is very close to the Pacific Ocean. Some special room has acoustic conditions, made with very simple but functional techniques and allows the Royal Council to have secret meetings ...

Magnificient ChanChan

This amazing vision reminds us of the old Egyptian Tebas or Tell-el-Amarna, both cities built in stone and terracotta and with very similar urban characteristics.

The discovery of the Royal Tombs of Sipan inside a very big pyramid in another Chimu settlement at some kilometers of distance from Chan Chan, increased the interest in studying the architectural rests, in the last decade. This impressive culture had a rich and elaborated art expressed in wall paintings, pottery, clothes, metalurgics (vases, jewels, weapons) and other achievements.

Chan Chan and other architectural Chimu places stand in the northern coast of Peru, just one hour by plane from Lima the country´s capital. They are still waiting for deeper studies by architects and urbanists to re-discover the accomplishment of their ancient builders. Digital technologies help us to make updated topographical studies, design plans according to excavations, analize building systems and recreate the urban environment through virtual simulation. The next step will be to promote these studies in Internet to everybody´s surprise.

Views of Chan Chan

ArquiPeru wants to request all professionals interesed in "re-building" Chan Chan and the surrounding cities, as a cultural example for next generations of architectes and engineers woldwide. Please contact the site´s Webmaster if you are interesed.

* For further information visit our section : Links - Peruvian Architecture

Updated : 05/31/07