The Callao Naval Museum
The Peruvian Navy has a long history since its founding on October 8, 1821. To claim its history and that of its heroes there are up to seven naval museums, of which The most important of which is the so-called ‘Callao Naval Museum’. This is located in front of the Callao sea. In its ten rooms the history of the institution is summarized. Its most famous pieces are a part of the prow of the Spanish ship Nuestro Señor del Triunfo as well as part of the barrel of the Chilean schooner La Covadonga.
All about the Callao Naval Museum
The Naval Museum of Peru is one of the seven naval museums created by the Peruvian Navy. It is located in the tourist area of Callao, facing the sea of the Pacific Ocean.
The other naval museums in Peru are: The Grau House in Lima, the Grau House in Piura, the Arequipa Navy Exhibition Hall, the America Museum in Iquitos, the Puno Naval Museum and the Abtao Museum that belongs to the Association of Diving Officials of Peru.
The Naval Museum of Peru in Callao is the most important of its kind in Peru. Its creation dates back to 1958. Currently it has 10 rooms that expose the history of navigation in Peru, from pre-Hispanic times to the present, passing through important events such as the War of the Pacific.
The rooms on display are: a) Artillery and Muzzle Loading Room, b) Maritime Domain Room, c) Mar de Grau Room, d) Pre-Hispanic Room, e) South Sea Navy Room, f ) A Peruvian Navy Chamber, g) Peru Armed Chamber 1821 – 1866, h) Republican Chamber of 1987 – 1900, i) Naval Forces Chamber and j) Antarctica and Altiplano Chamber and Amazon Chamber.
Notable museum objects such as figureheads from a Spanish ship in the 18th century. Also the cannon of the Chilean schooner Covadonga that was rescued from the War of the Pacific. Every time there are temporary exhibitions.
The Heritage of the Peruvian Navy that is exhibited in this museum are weapons, paintings, portraits, sculptures and scale models.
The Naval Museum of Peru is located in the tourist center of Callao, just a few steps from Square Miguel Grau and other tourist attractions such as the famous Fortress of Real Felipe or the Abtao del Callao Museum.
The address of the Naval Museum of Peru is Avenida Jorge Chávez 123.
How to get there?
To get to the Naval Museum of Peru you must follow these steps:
- First you must take public transport or taxi to the center of the city of Lima. From Miraflores, for example, you can take the ‘Blue Line’ buses for 1.5 Peruvian soles. Another option is to take the ‘Metropolitano’ line buses for 2.5 Peruvian soles.
- In the Square 2 de Mayo in the center of Lima you must take public transport, collective taxi or simply taxi to the last block of Benavides avenue, at the height of the Real Felipe fortress. Tickets for public transport buses have a cost of approximately 2 Peruvian soles.
- Once there, you just have to walk to get to the Naval Museum of Peru.
On October 8, 1821, months after the founding of Peru, the Peruvian Navy was founded. More than a century later, and after several historical events such as the War with Chile in 1879, the Naval Museum of Peru was created in 1957, which has some of the most important historical objects belonging to the Peruvian Navy.
However, the museum modified its content on display on March 21, 1958. This is due to the fact that naval cadets Oscar Rizo Patrón Belgrano, Fernando Grau Umlauff, Percy Pérez Barlabás, Carlos Guzmán Lanfranco, Alfredo Ibárcena Morán and Fernando Jiménez Roman brought from Chile objects belonging to the Peruvian hero of the War of the Pacific, Miguel Grau Seminario.
On July 8, 1962, under the direction of the director, Commander Julio José Elías Murguía, the museum began to operate. In the following years the museum improved its facilities, its exhibitions receiving visitors from not only Peru but also from abroad.
What to see in the museum?
- a) Artillery and Muzzle Loading Room – Room that exposes the different weapons that the Peruvian Navy has carried throughout its history, especially those used during the War of the Pacific.
- b) Maritime domain room – Room that explains the limits and wealth of the two hundred miles corresponding to the limits of the Peruvian sea.
- c) Sea of grau room – Room that highlights the importance of Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, Peruvian hero during the War of the Pacific. Currently the limits of the Peruvian sea are called ‘Mar de Grau’ in his honor.
- d) Pre-Hispanic Room – Room that shows the vessels of pre-Hispanic cultures along the coast as well as rivers and lagoons along the our territory, both on the coast and in the mountains and jungle.
- e) South Sea Navy Room – Room that shows part of the artillery used during the War of the Pacific. Both Peruvian objects and remains of the Chilean navy that faced the Peruvian Navy in 1879 are on display.
- f) A Peruvian Navy Room – Room that shows some of the historical figures who have given their lives for the Peruvian Navy, one of the most important institutions ancient from Peru.
- g) Armed Room of Peru 1821 – 1866 – Room that chronologically exposes the technology acquired by the Peruvian Navy in the first half of the 19th century, before of the War with Chile. The Rímac stands out, a war steamer, the second in South America in its time.
- h) Republican room from 1987 – 1900 – Room that gives an account of the development of the Peruvian Navy after what the War of the Pacific meant and its subsequent development throughout the 20th century.
- i) Naval forces room – Room that gives an account of objects and relics rescued from the historic War of the Pacific that faced Peru and Chile in 1879.
- j) Antarctica and Altiplano Room and Amazon Room – Room that gives an account of the scientific stations that Peru has both in the highlands and in the Amazon jungle. The scientific station called ‘Machu Picchu’ stands out and is located in Antarctica.
The Naval Museum of Peru is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.
The entrance to the museum has the following cost:
- Adults: 3 Peruvian soles.
- Seniors: 1.50 Peruvian soles.
- Children or students: 2 Peruvian soles.
More information about the museum
Callao is also famous for its islands. One of its main tourist attractions are the Palomino islands where it is possible to swim with sea lions. In the nearby dock of the Square Grau (very close to the Naval Museum of Peru) are the boats that offer the visit to this place.
Just a few steps from the naval museum of Peru is the ‘Abtao Submarine Naval Site Museum’, which offers the opportunity to enter a submarine and learn about its infrastructure, torpedoes, batteries, engine room, engines and more.
The museum is located in a tourist area with permanent surveillance. It is also advisable to prevent and avoid bringing objects of great economic value such as fine watches, jewelry or high-end cell phones. Callao is considered one of the provinces of Lima with high crime rates.
The climate in Callao is humid with pleasant sun in the summer (January, February and March). The maximum temperature in those months can reach 30ºC. The rest of the year you can visit with a jacket and polo shirt. The weather from April to December can reach a maximum of 24ºC. and a minimum of 14ºC.