Miscellaneous

A city’s fate decided by a mule

Guadalupe, a small city located in La Libertad, in the northern coast of Peru, was established on April 15th, 1550.

When Francisco Pizarro and his men conquered Peru, they received several towns as fiefs. One of them, Captain Perez de Lescano, was given many towns of the Jequetepeque valley, making him move to Trujillo (capital of La Libertad) permanently. The chief magistrate of Trujillo wasn’t happy with the captain’s presence there, and when some propaganda against him started running around, he accused Perez de Lescano of being the author, making him become sentenced to death.

Trujillo (South) and the Jequetepeque Valley (North)

Trujillo (South) and the Jequetepeque Valley (North)

The day of the execution, in the morning, the real author was found, a clergyman, who ran along the Chagres river, yet he was devoured by a caiman. Perez de Lescano, still a prisoner, prayed to Our Lady of Guadalupe (the Spanish one), and after he received his miracle (that the real author would appear), he and his wife went back to Spain to ask for a replica of the Virgin, which the Church accepted.

A devotee with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

A devotee with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The image was brought in a trunk, disembarking at the Cherrepe port on January 24th, 1550. The image was to be put in a chapel in the Pacasmayo Valley, so it would be worshipped there. The Virgin’s image was transported by mules, but when the animals reached a certain point, they refused to go on, and the captain took it as a sign: the Virgin wanted to stay there.

Current road between Guadalupe and Cherrepe

Current road between Guadalupe and Cherrepe

In 1564, Perez de Lescano donated the image and part of his estate to the Augustinians, who relocated to Anlape, in the foothills of Namul, an extinct volcano, where houses began being built – this is now known as Old Guadalupe. Anlape would become the biggest Catholic pilgrimage center of the Viceroyalty of Peru. In 1619, an earthquake destroyed Anlape, so the survivors moved to what is now the city of Guadalupe, where they built another Saint Augustine’s Church, now considered a South American architectural jewel.

St. Augustine's Church at night. Built in the 1600s, the outside has been renovated, yet the interior still shows one of the purest expressions of Baroque architecture in South America.

St. Augustine’s Church at night. Built in the 1600s, the outside has been renovated, yet the interior still shows one of the purest expressions of Baroque architecture in South America.

Moved by their faith, the people of Guadalupe built a monument dedicated to the Virgin on top of the hill Namul, now known as “the Virgin’s hill”. They say, that if you ever visit this city, you must go all the way up and pray to the Virgin. After doing so, she will grant you a miracle, like she did in 1550.

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Our Correspondent
Cult Peru correspondent
Vanessa - Lima

Born on Lima's anniversary, from a family of writers from the north of Peru. Painter, writer, engineer and teacher. Loves to travel and get to know different cultures.

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About Peru
About this place

Continent: South America
Capital: Lima
Population: 29,907,000
Area: 1,285,220 km2
Currency: Sol
Languages: Spanish, Aymara, Quechua

Time in Lima
5:17 pm

Weather in Lima
  24°c

Distance from you
5,680km