Lima is the capital and the largest city in Peru. It is situated in the west coast of the country near its Pacific port of Callao. Total population (1995 estimate): 6'117,489, approximately one-third of which lives in the shanty town settlements around the city.
Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, becoming one of the main bases of Spanish power in Peru. Notable buildings include the 16th century Cuzco Cathedral and the National University of San Marcos which was built in 1551.
Lima's main passenger gateway for air travellers is Jorge Chavez International Airport.
On April 22, 1997 a 126-day hostage crisis at the residence of the Japanese ambassador in Lima ended after government commandos stormed and captured the building rescuing 71 hostages. One hostage died of a heart attack, two soldiers were killed from rebel fire and all 14 rebels were slain.
see also: Geography of Peru