Santiago de Surco
|Santiago de Surco|
View towards east, Higuereta oval on view
Location of Santiago de Surco in Lima
|Founded||December 16, 1929|
|• Mayor||Roberto Hipólito Gómez Baca|
|• Total||34.75 km2 (13.42 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 est.)|
|• Density||7,200/km2 (19,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PET (UTC-5)|
Santiago de Surco, commonly known simply as Surco, is a district of Lima, Peru. It is bordered on the north with the district of Ate Vitarte and La Molina; on the east with San Juan de Miraflores, on the west with San Borja, Surquillo, Miraflores and Barranco, and on the south with Chorrillos.
The northern parts of Surco, which are close to San Borja and La Molina, are known as Monterrico and Chacarilla and considerably more developed than the southern side of the district, having more upper class housing and the four major shopping centers of the district.
Culture, education and entertainment
Some of the most exclusive and prestigious universities of Lima are located in Surco, including University of Lima, ESAN University, Universidad Ricardo Palma, and Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas.
Many of Lima's largest shopping centers are also located in the district, including "Jockey Plaza Shopping Center", "Caminos del Inca", "Chacarilla" and "El Polo". Santiago de Surco has won five awards for having some of the best-kept green areas in Lima.
La Vendimia (grapevine): The Viticulture Association and the Municipality of Surco sponsor this showcase for regional crafts, cuisine and wine processes within the framework of the "Vineyard Harvest of Surco." The craft of wine preparation is demonstrated through macerating grapes by the traditional method of treading by foot. Grape fermentation and aging processes are also shown. A Reina de la Vendimia (Queen of the Harvest) is chosen and local performers stage their talents. This seasonal festival takes place from March 17 to 26, annually and it is one of the most traditionalist festivities. It is celebrated in downtown Surco.
Several of Lima's most important avenues pass through Surco, including the South avenues, which connect the district with downtown Lima, San Isidro (Lima's financial district), and Miraflores. Three stations of Line 1 of the Lima Metro (Jorge Chavez, Ayacucho and Cabitos) are located in the district.
The Santiago de Surco area was already populated before Inca times. During the Viceroyalty of Peru, Surco became a vacation spot for the wealthy. Back in those times, Surco comprised not only its current territory but also the area of present-day Barranco, Chorrillos, and other areas.
One of the biggest attractions of Surco is the old Church San Juan Grande, which is currently under reconstruction. In earlier years this church remained unwatched and with no care from the municipality of Surco and was inhabited by locals in poverty.
It is said that this old church was communicated to the Santiago Apostol Cathedral a few miles from there in old Surco by a sort of underground passages built by the Jesuits to be used in case of war or danger. What is a fact is the old skulls and little babies bones found by curious people who walked in the catacums.
This church was built by the Jesuit order in 1752, using adobe, canes, stones and wood only. The Jesuit order was expelled in 1767 from all the Spanish territories due to disagreements with the Spanish monarch Carlos III and then after their properties were confiscated. Thus this place was abandoned. Thereafter, this land was sold in an auction. As a matter of fact, this land was divided into two pieces; A large(grande) parcel and a small one. The church then took its name from the large parcel, which was "grande" in Spanish.
This house-property was used as a shelter for Cáceres' troops in times of war. While sheltering at one point, Caceres didn't know from where the Chilean troops, who had just arrived a few hours earlier in Conchan, could attack the city. So he used the help of a young boy. There was an immense 300 year old pine tree in the patio that divided the church from the house-property, and even though it fell in January 2001, it remains unbroken in the collective memory of Surco as a silent witness to what happened. Julio César Escobar, the young boy, became a hero at the age of 13 during the San Juan y Miraflores battle by giving his life for the sake of the country. Julio climbed up to the top of the pine tree, to be a lookout and warn Caceres about the Chilean troops' approach. When Julio saw the Chileans, he was too high to climb down to warn about the Chilean troops' arrival. The Peruvian troops fled from the shooting that had begun and Julio was not able to escape. Unfortunately, the patriots were defeated, and the kid hero was shot dead near the immense tree. The church was then sacked and burned by the Chilean troops, who later converted it into a stable.
- (Spanish) Municipalidad Distrital de Santiago de Surco - Santiago de Surco district council official website