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The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

Hello, I hope that each and every one of you is well. Today I want to tell you about one of the best museums in Peru, which has become an obligatory step for those who visit Peru, and especially those who visit the northern part of my wonderful and varied country.

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The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum is considered by many to be one of the best museums in South America. I had the opportunity to visit this museum when I spontaneously visited the north coast of Peru for the first time. I went for about five days with just a backpack and less than 400 soles in my pocket. I was in search of new places and new destinations that would continue to amaze me within my country.

Location of The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

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The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum is located in the Lambayeque region on the northern coast of Peru.

The Legacy of the Mochicas:

When I came to The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum, I knew that I was going to find a large collection of pieces from the Mochica culture. The Mochica culture is one of the cultures that flourished in northern Peru; they were great masters of ceramics and metallurgy.

It is prohibited to take photos inside the museum:

Something that you have to take into account when visiting this museum is that the use of a camera inside the building is not allowed, as well as filming in the areas that are totally guarded.

To enter the museum, you can go by yourself or with a museum tour guide. I would recommend the second option, as there is nothing more interesting that going into a museum with someone who can point things out to you while you do your tour. Furthermore, you can learn so much more with a tour guide than you can if you go alone, it gives you much more reason to come here where you can find so much information about Peruvian legacy.

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If what you want is to save money, what you can do is wait until more visitors arrive so that you can join together and make a "chancha" in order to be able to get the tour guide services of the museum. This is what my friend and I did when we arrived; we waited a moment until a group of people arrived who wanted to do the same as us and we made a single group to pay for the guide.

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Take advantage of taking a photo of the museums façade

Something that you are allowed to take a photo of is the museums façade that resembles a pyramid with its red background. The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum maintains the beauty of being a modern place within its rooms: it preserves one of the richest tombs in the history of the word inside its interior.

Make sure you buy souvenirs on the outside

Furthermore, I can also advise you to go to the exterior part of the museum where you can find some craftspeople who sell allegorical ceramics from the Mochicha culture. For example, I bought an ornament for my house that cost me less than 15 soles. To come and visit this part of Peru is to come to a place where they sell beautiful ceramics thanks to the teachings of the master craftspeople that have been acquiring these skills over generations.

 The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

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Visiting the museum and getting to know its history: the discovery

In order to know more about this, we have to find out how all of this history started. For this, we have to go back in time to 1987. Thanks to the studies of an archaeologist known as Walter Alva, one of the largest findings in the history of Peru (and the world) was discovered in this area - I am of course referring to the Royal Tomb of the Lord of Sipan.

This discovery had a world-wide impact due to some of the real works of art that were found inside the tomb that made the Royal Tomb of the Lord of Sipán one of the most striking in the entire history of Peru.

Never before had such a lavish tomb for a leader or "cacique" of ancient Peru been found. It was easy for one to notice that this man was a great sovereign of extensive power in his territory.

Obviously this discovery had to be revealed to the world! With this, one had to think of an ideal place to keep everything that had been found in the ancient tomb. Therefore, so began the construction of the present museum and it was named after the sovereign man and the main motivation for its construction: The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum.

 The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

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Its impact has been truly one-of-a-kind because it has revalued and put the legacy of the Mochicas on a golden platter. After the Museum of Art in Lima, the Museum of Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan is one of the most interesting and modern in Peru. From its striking external façade to its interior, the way the inside is lit up to illuminate each of its treasures is something to tip your hat to. You will want to come here more than once to explore it fully! I'm sure you will breathe a lot of Mochicha history here and it will leave you extremely satisfied, just like it did for me.

The façade in the style of the Mochicha pyramids

The project was oriented strictly by theme with the inspiration of the Mochica pyramids, so that even from far away you can already be aware of your presence in an important environment. If you spend the night there, you will even find the façade illuminated - leaving you much more satisfied than before.

As a primary basis, the museums architectural style gives interesting detail into all the things that you are going to find in the interior. The red and yellow ochre in its facade work together to perfectly give you the appearance with all the Mochica legacy inherited in these lands of Peru.

Modern and ancient for all of us

Harmony is also brought from far away in the internal part of the museum where modernity openly coexists with each of the ancient pieces found inside it. This character known as the Lord of Sipan lived in the year 250 A. D. (After Christ) approximately.

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When did they open the museum?

On the 8th December 2002, the museum was inaugurated in order to open the way into research, culture, science and tourism from Peru and the world.

Rooms decorated with Mochicha art

Let me tell you, dear friends, that in Peru we have approximately 310 museums distributed throughout our national territory. Many of them have been built over places that had another function previously, but very few museums have been built with the intention of being a proper museum. Only a few museum in Peru have had the luck and privilege that the Museum of Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipan has had.

Entering the museum

Like in the past that remembers, to get to the entrance of the museum, you must go through a wide ramp that for most of the way resembles the shape that the pyramids had in the time of the Mochicas, and on your arrival at the top you will be able to find the ticket area to buy your tickets and ask for help from a tour guide of the museum.

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This path is almost as if you were doing a religious procession before arriving at the top part of the entrance. It is like getting a kind of question in our minds about wanting to know how it was that a great legacy could be made in a tomb. As you go up, more questions come into your head, for example, wanting to know what it was that motivated the Mochicas to want to bury their dead - especially this man with so many things in his grave. The Peruvian view of the world in those times was so magical that it makes our imagination soar to realise that Peru's past was so glorious and so prosperous. Nowadays we hope that we can continue to take advantage of this heritage in a responsible way for the development of tourism on the northern coast of Peru.

Designed to surprise

The museum sequence is designed to give answers to each question by presenting all of the samples and things found in it in an organised way.

Up the ramp on the third floor, we can enter the museum where we can firstly see a scene of a short film about the life of the Lord of Sipan, also there they will find part of the archaeological discoveries that have been found in the royal tombs of the Lord of Sipan.

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The spiritual world of the Mochicas and the concept of the gods are present here, as well as the understanding of the relationship between past and present.

On the second floor you will find a deposit of offerings and the outstanding royal jewels of the Tomb of the Lord of Sipán, as well as their emblems with delicate illumination that makes it seem like the pieces are floating on the walls through their beautiful illumination.

On the first floor on the other hand, you will be able to find the tomb of the Lord of Sipán in a private space for his final rest. As you go through the museum, you will realise that many answers are being revealed to you along the way. This, for example, will make you feel many emotions and sensations, such as the desire to not want to finish the tour and to continue travelling through each of its rooms without ever finishing.

In another room you will also be able to find a replica of what the Lord of Sipán looked like with all his gold jewels, the oldest ruler of the royal mausoleum, where each one of you will be surprised to the max, since each piece is unique and invites us to reflect on it.

Sensations that never end

When I finished touring the museum, I felt that I had learnt a lot, but at the same time an immense door was opened for me with such a wide legacy. That's how it goes: you start with one question and by the end you come back with 100 questions that invite us to think and value the wonders that Peru has even more today, thanks to its past full of important characters and flourishing cultures such as the Mochicas.

The Royal House of the Lord of Sipán

One of the areas that will leave you the most surprised is when you go into the Royal House of the Lord of Sipán. This is the place where you will find a presentation of approximately 35 mannequins assembled with light, music from native instruments, recreated with the best accuracy possible. Did you know that the most interesting thing about this is that the faces of the mannequins are made on the basis of the faces of the current inhabitants of the area of the Mochica culture.

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Here, one can go showing the world all the things that archaeologists felt at the time of finding this treasure for their research. Emotions and identity are magically intertwined with gold, silver and copper; all the characteristics meet to form an identity and it actually is part of the Moche route.

The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum also has a recent laboratory where visitors can see how the study of each of the pieces is being prepared and, like any first level museum, 50 meters away, there is a reproduction of the Mochica town using clay. Within it, the presence of the master artisans of the museum clearly reflecting the creativity of this culture.

As we do not feel attracted to this great civilization that could survive the desert and the storms of its time, a new era has begun in Peru to get to know it.

Address of the Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

Avenue Juan Pardo Vizcardo y Guzman s/n Lambayeque – Perú.

Conclusion of the museum

There are not enough words to fully describe the sensations that have been caused within me by getting to know this wonderful part of Lambayeque. Here I have been able learn that Peru is a clear example of a glorious past and great master craftsmen who have made all this possible, thanks to the hard work and brave cultures of northern Peru - the Mochicas.

Thank you so much for reading this experience of my visit to the Museum of the Lord of Sipan, a wonderful place where you can find the legacy of the wonders that ancient Peru holds for each one of us. Come to explore this wonderful place in Peru during your visit to Lambayeque - a destination that not only has this museum, but also others that we will be seeing little by little throughout my journey in the northern area of Peru.

I hope that you liked this and that it has encouraged you to come and get to know it! Let's go! Get to know the world of ancient Peru and live the experience of being in Peru - one of the most mega-diverse countries in the world. See you soon!

Let us continue to explore the marvels of Peru...

 The Royal Tombs of the Lord of Sipán Museum

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