The Real Felipe Fortress museum located in the Callao constitutional province opened its doors to the public for the first time on July 18ht, 1945, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, a brief tour of its history is presented since its creation as a protective fortress. of corsairs.
On October 28th, 1746, a degree 6 earthquake occurred on the Mercalli scale that shook the port of Callao, it appeared with a seaquake of waves exceeding 60 meters in height. This cataclysm destroyed everything in its path and even sank 17 warships and twisted the fortresses and piers.
This event convinced the viceregal authorities to build a stronger and more solid defense, in order to protect the city of Lima from attacks by pirates and thieves. For this reason, on August 1st, 1747, the construction of this incredible fortress began and it was the Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco, Superunda Count who laid the first stone of its construction.
The main building took 29 years and its cost was three million pesos at the time. The stones that were used to build this magnificent architectural work were brought from San Lorenzo Island, but also from Panama and Spain. Likewise, it was the scene of some armed conflicts.
The Real Felipe Fortress museum has multiple interesting environments that can be accessed during the visit:
- The Cannons Hall here several cannons that were used in different stages of the Republican times are exhibited. Likewise, this area has an «armored vehicle patio» in which war tanks can be seen.
The Governor’s House was the place where the military chief of the fortress stayed. In addition, it is the area of the museum with the most historical pieces and at the entrance, it has the building of the «Knight of the twelve cannons».
The Answer House is a replica of the house in Arica where Francisco Bolognesi refuses to surrender to Chile and utters the famous phrase: «I have sacred duties to fulfill and I will carry them out until the last cartridge is burned.»
The King and Queen Keep were the main bunkers and have several levels. To get around the interior we must cross very narrow and dark stairs and corridors, which lead to the chambers that served as warehouses and horrible dungeons. It is the main attraction of the museum due to its impressive panoramic view of the sea on its exteriors.
The last remodeling of the Real Felipe Fortress museum was in 1998 in commemoration of its 251 years of creation, which meant a million soles from the funds of the Lima and Callao Development Corporation (CORDELICA).