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Diocese of Trujillo



Diocese comprising the Departments of Lambayeque, Libertad, Pinra, and the Province of Tumbes, in North-west Peru, formed by Gregory XIII, 13 April, 1577, as suffragan of Lima, an arrangement confirmed by Paul V in 1611, when he appointed Alfonso de Guzman first bishop. The city of Truxillo (8000 inhabitants), formerly very flourishing, was founded in 1535 on the RÌo Muchi in the Valley of Chimu by Gonzalo Pizarro, who named it after his native place. It is the capital of the Department of Libertad, so named because Trujillo was the first Peruvian city to proclaim its independence from Spain. Most of the houses are but one story high, on account of frequent earthquakes, the severest of which occurred in 1619, 1759, and 1816. Its university was erected in 1831, a college having been founded there earlier in 1621. Near the city lie the ruins of the Gran Chimu, known originally as ChanChan - Chimu being the title of the Indian sovereign - one of the most stupendous extant monuments of a departed civilization. They extend over twelve miles north and south, and six miles east and west, and recall a highly civilized race - the Muchoen - which fell before the Incas. One may still see the ruined palace and factories, a necropolis, walls nine metres high, and a labyrinth of houses and pyramidal sepulchres (huacas), the most remarkable of which are the Toledo, Esperanza, and Obispo, the latter being 500 feet square and 150 high. From these ruins, over £5,500,000 in gold were recovered by the Spaniards. The Muchoen had reached a high degree of perfection in metal-work and in the art of decorating pottery, many specimens of the latter being unsurpassed since the days of early Greece. An account of the ancient religion has been preserved by Antonio de la Calancha, Augustinian prior of Trujillo in 1619; the chief deity was the moon (Si), her temple (Si-an) situated near the RÌo Muchi having had an area of about 42,000 square yards. A grammar of the native language - Mochica - now dead, was compiled by Padre Fernando de la Carrera (Lima, 1644). Diocesan statistics: 102 parishes; 350 churches and chapels; 160 priests; 2 boys' colleges; 3 girls' high schools; there are communities of Franciscans (2), Conceptionists, Carmelites, Poor Clares, Dominican Tertiaries, and Lazarists, the latter having charge of the seminary. The Catholic population numbers about 581,000. The bishop is Mgr. Carlos GarcÌa Irigoyen, b. at Lima, 6 November, 1857, edited the "Revista catÛlica", founded "El amigo del clero", succeeded Mgr. Manuel Jaime Medina, 21 March, 1910.

Mozans, Up the Andes and down the Amazon (New York. 1911); Feijoo, RelaciÛn de la ciudad de Truxillo (Madrid, 1763); Markham, The Incas of Peru (London, 1910).

A. A. MacErlean.








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