Francisco Pizarro, a Spanish conquistador, founds Lima Peru

Francisco Pizarro was the illegitimate son of an infantry colonel, Gonzalo Pizarro, born in the early 1470’s (Francisco’s exact birthdate is unknown.) Francisco was uneducated and illiterate, but this didn’t stop him from exploring and conquering the world like his distant cousin Hernán Cortés. He served as mayor for Panama city 1519-1523. After hearing about his cousin’s great success in Mexico. Francisco decided to venture down to Peru, South America, since he had heard that this place was filled to the brim with wealth.

On this day January 18th, in 1535, the city of Lima, Peru is founded by Francisco Pizarro. In 1532 Pizarro and his conquistadors defeated Atahualpa and his Incan Empire. The Rimac Valley was chosen by Francisco to become the capital, the capital was named Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings) and later it was renamed Lima. The prologue to this story begins in 1528 when Francisco requested from the Governor of Panama to be allowed to make his expedition to Peru, his request was declined. Francisco then went to Charles I the King of Spain directly to plead with him. Charles I granted his request, and from there the story unfolds into a bloodbath of conquering and winning spoils of gold and silver.

As of 2007, Lima had a population of 7,605,742. That is roughly a third of the entire population of Peru. Lima is on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, the utmost Western points of South America. In 1940 a massive earthquake destroyed nearly the entire city, and at that point the population was 0.6 million. Evidently it has grown very quickly. The metropolitan area of Lima has over 7000 factories, and date from 2010 shows that over 50% of Peru’s GDP comes from Lima alone. Good call, Francisco.