Jan 25, 2009

El Museo del Real Felipe

Today we went to the city of Callao (pronounced Ky-yow': Ky, with the y pronounced like "sky") and visited the museum belonging to the Peruvian Army. It's actually a now defunct fort made of stone and mortar, built by the Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco of Spain and name after King Phillip V of Spain. The construction began in 1747 and the whole thing took 27 years to complete. The architect was French. The fort is done in the shape of a pentagon with an exterior perimeter of 1580 meters with walls 2 1/2 meters thick (about 6 feet thick). It is complete with an exterior moat and drawbridges at the entrance and at each structure of importance. It's like something right out of the medieval times



Inside the walls of this fort are various towers and structures, also made of stone and mortar - the Queen's Bastion (a tower with a prison inside), the King's Tower complete with cannons on all sides, the Governor's House (I can't imagine living in this enormous dark place), and various buildings that housed troops and weapons of all manor.


(heading inside the Governor's house)

The Towers are just as I imagined the tower that Rapunzel was imprisoned in - filled with dark spiraling stairways, steep and treacherous to pass through, twisting and turning hallways lit with the occasional (now electric) torch, and dimly lit cells where prisoners were kept. They were only given bread and water twice a week, so I doubt that they had an over-crowding problem. There were no chains on the walls, so I guess the torture chamber must have been in the dungeon, if there is one.


(entrance to the Queen's Bastion)

(a view of the Queen's Bastion)


(this is a view of the King's Tower. You can see the little drawbridge at the very narrow principal entrance.)

The whole tour took about 2 hours and was well worth it, I thought. You can see more pictures, as well as these that I posted here, at this link and more photos here. I hope you enjoyed the little tour!

3 comments:

Iron Needles said...

I love seeing places like that. Give me a museum tour, and I can be a happy camper!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Fascinating!

knitting dragonfly said...

Wow, thanks for the tour. Nice pics also.