Peru’s changing of the guard to be declared national cultural heritage



The traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony performed by the glorious Húsares de Junín (Hussars of Junín) Regiment must be declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation, according to a proposal by Colonel Augusto Cier Gadea, on behalf of the historic cavalry unit.

Col. Cier Gadea said that the Hussars will send the proposal to the National Institute of Culture so that they can work together to declare the changing of the guard as national cultural heritage.

The 1st Cavalry, "Glorious Hussars of Junín Liberator of Peru" Regiment forms a personal mounted guard to the Peruvian President since 1987 and wear a stylized uniform of a red coat and blue breeches, that are supposed to have been worn in 1824.

Every morning at 11:45 a.m., the Government Palace’s front yard is the stage for the changing of the guard performed by soldiers of the prestigious Husares de Junín Battalion. This solemn military spectacle is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike.

In Peru, the squadrons of Hussars of the Peruvian Legion of the Guard were created in 1821 by General Jose de San Martin, from officers and troopers of the Squadron of "Hussars of the General’s Escort", the former Squadron of Horse-Chasseurs of the Andes, which were included in the newly created army of the then recently independent Republic of Peru.

The 4th Squadron of the Hussars of the Peruvian Legion of the Guard was organised in Trujillo under the command of Peruvian Colonel Antonio Gutierrez de la Fuente, and was named after "Cuirassiers" in 1823 and became into "Hussars of Peru" Squadron in 1824.

It was renamed "Hussars of Junín" for its performance in 1824 at the Battle of Junin, which was one of the Spanish-Peruvian battles which determined the final defeat of the Spanish colonial rule.

The Hussars of Junín fought at the battle of Ayacucho on 9 December 1824, among the liberating forces commanded by Antonio de Sucre against the loyalist Spanish forces commanded by Viceroy José de la Serna.

The heroic action of the "Hussars of Junín" Regiment as part of the Light Horse commanded by General José María Córdoba were victorious, the battle eventuating in the capitulation of the Spanish forces, affirming the final independence of Peru. For this heroic action the "Hussars of Junín" Regiment of the Light Horse was titled after Liberator of Perú with inscription on the regimental guidon.

(Photo: Alberto Orbegoso/Andina)