Lima is the capital and largest city of Perú. With a population approaching 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Perú, and the fifth largest city in the Americas.
Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings). It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Perú. Following the Perúvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Perú. Today, around one-third of the Perúvian population lives in the metropolitan area.
Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
Lima is know as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. A center of immigration, Lima has incorporated dishes brought from the arrival of the Spanish consquistadors and waves of immigrants, particulalry Africa, European, Chinese, and Japanese. In addition, since the second half of the 20th century, a strong flow from rural areas to Lima has brought an additional Andean flavour to Lima's cuisine.