Located on the coastal oasis of Lambayeque formerly inhabited by the Mochicas and Chimus, Chiclayo is the crossing point from a series of communication roads between Northern coastal towns, the Amazon and the highlands, supporting intense commercial traffic
Now a big rice, sugar, wheat and cotton-producing area, in the past it used to be the melting pot for Indians from the highlands, Spaniards who seized their lands, Negros brought from Angola to cut sugar cane, and Chinese who replaced the latter when slavery was abolished. The city, which previously was just a dusty and modest village between Zana and Lambayeque, has no historic origins, and nobody knows for sure when it was founded. The Cathedral built on an Eiffel plan, is its only tourist attraction. In recent years major archeological discoveries have been made in the area, the most famous of them being the tomb of the so-called The Lord of Sipan.
The Lord of Sipan
In 1987, the untouched tomb and remains of a dignitary of the Mochicas hierarchy were discovered on the site called Huaca Rajada, together with ornaments, headdresses, emblems and gold, silver and golden copper attires inlaid with turquoises, lapiz lazuli, and shells from northern Ecuador, all of them rank symbols of a priest-warrior called Lord of Sipan. They are a testimony of the exquisite art and metallurgical expertness of the Mochicas. The chamber was found in front of two large pyramidal structures. It is estimated that the tomb contains invaluable historic information which will allow the reconstruction of the organization, cultural relations, religious beliefs and technological development of the Mochicas. The author of this finding and promoter of its restoration is the Peruvian archeologist Walter Alva, the present director of the Bruning Museum. This extraordinary discovery is only comparable to the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankamon.
Is an excellent museum based on the private collection put together by the German engineer, Enrique Bruning, late in the past century and the first decades of the present century. The Peruvian government acquired this collection in 1925. This museum has been continuously enriched with pieces obtained from confiscation, donations and discoveries. The most recent addition are the pieces found in the tomb of the Lord of Sipan. This museum is presently housed in modern and functional facilities built on a design inspired on the works of Le Corbusier. It displays more than 1500 pieces from several cultures, including a particularly priceless collection of Chimu and Vicus textiles and ceramics. Several hundreds of gold objects are kept in a shielded chamber, including copper funerary masks, ceremonial vases, an extraordinary necklace and other jewels of Mochica and Chimu provenance and pieces from the Lambayeque culture. The display has been put up following strictly didactic criteria.
Tradition and Modern Times
The traditional tranquility and peacefulness of the city has been somewhat altered by the pleasant young atmosphere of its university and the appearance of shanty towns on its outskirts. Although the Spaniards settled here immediately after starting the conquest, the city only prospered with the arrival of wealthy Zana families fleeing from the destruction caused by the catastrophic floods of the first decades of the 18th century. A proverb says that Chiclayanos are sweet blooded, who from every mishap, manage to come off standing on their feet; and another says that work may wait but merrymaking never, all of which describe the optimistic, joyful and festive character of its people.
The Anniversary of Chiclayo is the most important civic holiday, it takes place from the 15th to the 22nd of April. Lemon Festival, it takes place in the city of Olmos on June 22nd to the 30th . They have cock fights, folklore, Peruvian horses, popular dances and a prize for the best lemon. Festicom, is a cultural exposition fair which is held in Monsefu from July 23rd to the 31st. Festivity of Divino Nino del Milagro, it is a combined religious, artisan, cultural and folkloric activity in the city of Eten on July 22nd to the 26th. Cruz de Chalpon festivity, in the district of Motupe, popular celebration which brings together a large amount of pilgrims and takes place in the first week of August.