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According to early Spanish articles the Lima area was once called Itchyma, after its original inhabitants.
However, even before the Inca occupation of the area in the 15th century, a famous oracle in the Rímac valley had come to be known by visitors as Limaq (Limaq, pronounced , which means "talker" or "speaker" in the coastal Quechua that was the area's primary language before the Spanish arrival).
This oracle was eventually destroyed by the Spanish and replaced with a church, but the name persisted: the chronicles show "Límac" replacing "Ychma" as the common name for the area.
Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area.
This hiatus ended in the 1850s, when increased public and private revenues from guano exports led to a rapid development of the city.
The city underwent renewal and expansion from the 1890s to the 1920s.
Later, as the original inhabitants died out and the local Quechua became extinct, the Cuzco pronunciation prevailed.
Nowadays, Spanish-speaking locals do not see the connection between the name of their city and the name of the river that runs through it.