"World Heritage Site" by UNESCO
To go over the historical center of Cusco, is walking by the city that was
traced and designed by the Incas, it is
like going for a walk by colonial buildings built on the base of the old real
palaces of the Incas, is the coalition of two architectural styles that make it
unique in the world, it is the opportunity to appreciate architectural and art
jewels that contain their centennial or millennial walls.
There are several alternative circuits that can be made walking when visiting
all these marvelous places that are signaled in the streets.
Occupies the same place
that the plaza Huacaypata (Quechua language, groan, lament) that was traced by
Manco Cápac when founding the
city of Cusco during the XII century, around it the Inca kings
Pachacútec, Sinchi Roca, Viracocha, Túpac Yupanqui and Huayna
Cápac built their royal palaces, and the Acllahuasi (Temple of the
Virgins). It was the place where the Inti
Raymi took place in time of the Incas and the military celebrations after
the victory in battles. Since the arrival of the Spaniards, the dimensions were
diminished because of the areas around constructed that still remain such as the
Cathedral, "Iglesia de la Compañía" (Church of the
Company), the portals, arcades and large houses.
Catholic temple, built where the Inca
Viracocha had his real palace, built in 1560 by the Spanish architect
Juan Veramendi and then by master Juan Correa. It is a jewel of the colonial
architecture, of Baroque style, with 10 chapels, where "El
Señor de los Temblores" (The Lord of the Tremors) is
venerated, patron of Cusco. The biggest altar is recovered with pure silver
sheets, the choir is carved and in front of the altar there is a seat in double
array that is a masterpiece in wood. Plateresque pulpit, painting collection
with more than 400 canvases. The custody is an impressive goldsmith masterpiece,
made of solid gold of 27.7 Kg that measures 120 cm. height, with
incursions of 331 pearls, 263 diamonds, 221 emeralds, 89 amethysts, 43 topazes,
17 brilliant, 5 sapphires and 1 agate. The bell of the tower of the Gospel,
called María Angola was fused in brass and gold, and its
toll is listened up to 40 km of distance. Located in front of the Main Square.
"Iglesia de la
Compañía" (Church of the Company)
colonial temple, built on the real palace Amarucancha of Huayna
Cápac in 1571, is one of the most beautiful of Cusco, it
possesses a central nave with 6 lateral underground chapels, around it
labyrinths and secret passages, in which remarkable characters of the conquest
and Spanish colony were buried. The temple is adorned with big canvases and
sculptures carved in wood. It was reconstructed in 1651; located in front of the
"Iglesia de la Merced", and
(1536) It was the third founded in Peru, it is a
colonial architectural monument, of beautiful golden altarpieces, plateresque
pulpit and a choir that constitutes a joinery masterpiece. The temple is adorned
with beautiful canvases of Escuela
Cusqueña. Their most valuable treasure is the custody, of
unimaginable value; goldsmith piece made of gold, weight 22 kg. and it measures
1.3 meters height, which contains 2 enormous pearls and 615 of smaller size,
1,581 diamonds, besides emeralds, rubies and topazes. In the basements of the
church rest remains of the Spanish conquerors Diego de Almagro, Almagro El Mozo
(Almagro the Youngster), and Gonzalo Pizarro. Located in Mantas Street, very
near the Main Square.
"Convento e Iglesia de Santa
Catalina" (Convent and Church of Santa Catalina)
current convent was reconstructed in 1653 and the church dates of 1669. Built
where the Acllahuasi was located. It possesses a museum; located in the corner
of the streets Santa Catalina Angosta and Loreto.
The Acllahuasi (Quechua house of the chosen ones), or
"Templo de las Vírgenes" (Temple of the Virgins): Was the Inca place
in which the acllas (women chosen by their lineage and beauty, offered as
eternal wifes of the god Inti - the sun) lived perpetually. In this temple the
Coya (queen), Ñustas (princesses) and
the Inca king could only enter; between 500 and 1000 acllas
lived there permanently.
"Monasterio de San Antonio
Abad" (Monastery San Antonio de Abad)
Built in the XVII
century, has a beautiful chapel with altar decorated with gold sheets, and
valuable objects of colonial art. Actually a hotel is located here. Located at
Palacio Street No. 136, in front of the little plaza of the Nazarenas.
Koricancha, (Quechua language,
It was the main Inca temple, the Temple of Inti (the supreme
god - the sun), it is a masterpiece of the Inca architecture, built in blocks of
carved granite and smelted gold in the junctures of the blocks. Inside the
temple existed a garden in which the trees, birds, animals, etc. were
represented in gold. The temple was surrounded with a gold cornice and all the
walls covered in gold plates. In the sanctuary a great disk of gold existed
(Punchau) that represented Inti, the mummies of the Inca kings until Huayna
Cápac (12th king), they were seated on gold seats and adorned with
jewels, with the expression of being alive.
Annexes to the Koricancha, were the temples of
"Quilla" (moon), Illapa (ray), the
stars, Chuychu and Uíllac Umu's lodgings (supreme priest). At the arrival
of the Spanish conquerors it was plundered savagely and it was almost destroyed
to banish the adoration to Inti, and over it a catholic temple (Santo
Domingo) was built.
All the Inca roads of the Tahuantisuyo converged in the Koricancha,
besides being the central point of the administrative division of the empire,
and where the four "suyos" began and converged. Archaeological museum
located on Santo Domingo Street, in front of the little plaza Santo Domingo.
"Iglesia de San Blas"
(Church of San Blas)
Colonial Catholic temple, built in 1562, has a
pulpit that constitutes a wooden carved jewel of incalculable
value in which are represented saints' images and angels, Juan Tuirupata, Luis
Montes and Diego of Aryan dispute the creation. Outstanding the altarpiece of
the biggest altar, the paintings and canvases that adorn it.
This temple is located in San Blas's neighborhood, of narrow and high
streets, beautiful little plaza, and a beautiful paqcha exists; in this district
numerous artists and artisans reside, there are located the workshops of famous
artisans such as the family Mendivil, Olave and Mérida.
colonial building, in which highlights the front and balconies. Where the Museum
of Religious Art is located, exhibition of religious art pieces of the colonial
time. Located on Herrajes Street.
Built on the real palace of the Inca Sinchi Roca. In one of
the megalithic walls, in the lateral side, on Hatun Rumiyoc Street, is located
the famous "stone of the 12 angles", cut and carved
stone block that has 12 vertexes assembled in perfect form, not being able to
enter a knife leaf among its junctures.
"Casa del Inca Garcilaso de la
Vega" (House of the Inca Garcilaso de la
Headquarters of the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco since 1984,
exhibition of pictorial works of the Escuela
Cusqueña. Inca Garcilaso (1539-1616) was the Spanish conqueror's son
Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega and a royal Inca princess, the Palla
Isabel Chimpu Ocllo. He was a columnist of the Spanish conquest, the first
writer in America; author of "Comentarios Reales de los Incas" (The
Real Comments of the Incas), his work is the tearing testimony, exploitation of
misfortunes of his homeland, personal conflicts and the narration and exaltation
of the Tahuantisuyo, and aching justification of the Spanish conquest. During
his childhood he lived in this house, reliquary of the colonial beautifully
restored art. Located in the corner of the streets Garcilaso and Heladeros.
"Casa del Almirante"
(House of the Admiral)
(S. XVII): It belonged to Admiral Francisco Aldrete
Maldonado, old colonial house with stone facade that shows the coat-of-arms, has
a very beautiful ceiling decorated with carved panels. Headquarters of the
Archaeological Museum of the National University San Antonio de Abad, exhibits
archaeological pieces of the Inca culture and objects and furniture of the
colonial time. Located on Almirante Street Nº 103.
"Casa de los Cuatro
Bustos" (the Four Busts)
Beautiful colonial large house
that belonged to the Pizarro brothers, Spanish conquerors. On its cover it shows
four busts and a shield. At the moment a hotel is located here. Located on San
Agustín Street Nº 400.
Inside the historical Center it is also recommended the visit of the colonial
large houses of the Marquises San Juan de Buenavista y Rocafuerte, house of the
Counts of Cabrera, house Concha, house of the Counts of Peralta, house of the
Marquis of Picoaga, house of the Marquises of Valleumbroso.
"Monumento al Inca Pachacútec" (Monument to the Inca Pachacutec)
Built in honor of one of
the biggest Incas in the Tahuantisuyo,
statesman and great conqueror.
the last years, likeness of those that existed in the Inca City of Cusco. They
are sources or spouts of water, where the water was venerated. The most
important are Pumaqchupan (corner of El Sol and Tullumayo Streets), Pumacpampa
(Santa Catalina Street) and San Blas's neighborhood.