Cusco - ancient city - archaelogical capital of America

Machu Picchu Tour en EspañolCusco Main Square

The name of the city was Qosqo Quechua or Qusqu. Tradition says that means heart, navel ring. This is because, according to Inca mythology, it conform the world below (Uku Pacha) with the visible world (Kay Pacha) and the upper world (Hanan Pacha). Thus, the city was and is called the navel of the world, in reference to the universe.

Cusco by expanding in the valley formed by the river Huatanay and the surrounding hills. Its climate is generally dry and mild.

For its age and significance, the center of the city retains many buildings, plazas and streets of pre-Hispanic times as well as colonial buildings, which led it to become a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. Among the main sights of the city are:

Inca Age

Upon arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, her name goes to Cusco as Castilian, as it appears on maps from the XVI, XVII and XVIII. In some maps of the nineteenth century (since 1814) and XX (at least until 1976) is the name of this city as writing Cuzco. Today, in official Peruvian cartography, is the original name in Spanish, although it continues to be used commonly in the form in other Spanish-speaking countries.

Article 49 of the Political Constitution of Peru of 1993, establishing the historical capital of the country, said that the correct way of writing is Cusco. While the Municipal Council of Lima (since 23 June 1990) adopted the municipal agreement n ° 078, which provided: "Instituting the use of the name Qosqo, replacing the word Cusco, in all documents of the Government City of Cusco.


Virreynal Age

Foundation and incaica time

Stone of twelve angles Hatum Street RumiyuqDos indigenous legends attribute their founding to its first head of state, a legendary character named Manco Capac, with his consort and sister Mama Ocllo. In both states that the place was revealed by the sun god (Inti) after the founders began a pilgrimage to the south of the Sacred Valley in search of the exact location.

Archaeological and anthropological data has been studying the actual process of occupation of Cuzco. The consensus suggests that, due to the collapse of the kingdom of Taypiqala was the migration of its people. This group of about 500 men have been gradually established in the river valley Huatanay, a process that culminated with the founding of Cusco. Approximate date is unknown but with traces is agreed that the site is located where the city was already inhabited 3000 years ago. However, considering only the location and capital of the Inca Empire (mid-thirteenth century) appears as the Cusco oldest inhabited city in America.

It was the capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of the Incas and remained at the beginning of the imperial era, becoming the largest city in the Andes. This gave rise centralism and became the main focus and cultural heart of worship.

Is attributed to the ruler Pachacútec Cusco having a spiritual and political center. Pachacútec came to power in 1438, and he and his son Tupac Yupanqui devoted five decades to the organization and reconciling the different tribal groups under their control, including Lupaca and Colla. During and Pachacútec Tupac Yupanqui, the domain came from Cuzco to Quito in the north and to the Maule river, south, cultural integrity of people on 4,500 km of mountain ranges.

Templo de la Merced

It is also believed that the original design of the city is by Pachacútec. The plane has the shape of ancient Cusco puma delineated with square Haucaypata in the position to handle the animal's chest. The cat's head would be located on the hill where the fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The Incas organized their division so that the limits of the four regions of the empire coincided in the main square of Cusco.

Foundation and Spanish colonial era

Mantas Street, right there is the bell tower of the church and convent of La Merced.

City view from Sacsayhuaman. Architectural roofing colonial.Los learned from their Spanish conquerors arrived in what is now Peru that his goal was to take the city of Cusco, capital of the empire. After capturing the Inca Atahualpa in Cajamarca, began their march to Cusco. On the way founded many cities. The struggle for the capital city was fierce but, as in other clashes, the gains made in the victory. On November 15 of 1533, Francisco Pizarro founded the Spanish-style city of Cusco, Plaza de Armas as providing a location that still remains and the modern city was also the main square during the Inca empire and was surrounded by the palaces those were the Inca sovereign. In the sun that gives the north began the construction of the Cathedral. Cusco Pizarro gave the name "Cusco, Noble and Great City" on March 23, 1534.

Cusco Main Square

Sobrevientes the Inca Empire had a battle during the first years of the colony in 1536, Manco Inca began fighting and established the dynasty of the Incas of Vilcabamba. This dynasty met its end in 1572 when the last Inca Tupac Amaru II was defeated, captured and beheaded.

The city became an important commercial and cultural center of the central Andes as it was on the route between Lima and Buenos Aires. However, the administration chose the location of viceregal Lima (founded two years after Cusco in 1535) and especially its proximity to the natural port of El Callao and it would be to set the header of your domains in South America. The city is mentioned in the first known map of Peru.

Cusco was taken as the head of the Colonial administration in the south, with its beginnings in the location of most importance at the expense of the newly founded cities of Arequipa and Moquegua. Its population was mostly of Indians belonging to the Incan aristocracy who were one of its exemptions and privileges. It also settled a number of Spaniards. At that time began the process of cultural miscegenation that today marks the city.

Urban development was interrupted by several earthquakes more than once destroyed the city. In 1650 a violent earthquake destroyed almost all the colonial buildings. During this major earthquake was the effigy of Lord of the Earthquakes that it is still out in procession every year.

In 1780 the city of Cusco was convulsed by the motion initiated by the chief Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, Tupac Amaru II, who rose against the Spanish administration. Their uprising was suppressed after several months of fighting in which they threaten to put the stakes in Colonial Cuzco. Tupac Amaru was defeated, borrowed prisionario and cruelly executed along with his entire family in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. Still remained on the side of the Church of Jesus Chapel, which served as a prison hero. The movement spread rapidly through all the Andes and the beginning of the South American emancipation.

In the nineteenth century, another uprising against the colonial government took place in Cusco. Brigadier Pumacahua Mateo, who had mixed cusqueño enfretado the forces of Tupac Amaru II, another movement began with the Angulo brothers to achieve the independence of Peru. This rise was also suppressed.

Republican Age

Republican Age

General view of Cusco. Recorded antiguoEl Peru declared its independence in 1821 and the city of Cusco maintained its importance in the political and administrative organization of the country. In effect, created the department of Cusco, covering areas including the Amazon to the border with Brazil. The city was the capital of the department and the city of the south Andes.

From the twentieth century, the city launched an urban development in a higher rate than the experiment so far. The city spread to the neighboring districts of Santiago and Wanchaq.

In 1911, left the city of Hiram Bingham expedition that took him to discover the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu


Image: Cusco-Coricancha-c03.jpg | thumb | 270px | Coricancha Architectures of overlapping, the Convent of Santo Domingo and the present time]] Cusco by expanding in the valley formed by the river Huatanay and the surrounding hills. Its climate is generally dry and mild. It has two seasons: a dry between April and October, with sunny days, cool nights and average temperature of 13 ° C and another rainy, November to March, average temperature 12 ° C. On sunny days the temperature reaches 20 ° C.


Neighborhood of San Blas

Street Hatum Rumiyoc.

Chapel of the Holy Family, near the Cathedral. This building formerly belonged to the Inquisition and it took place in front of public executions of those convicted.

  • Square and cathedral in the background.
  • Iglesia de la Companía
  • Coricancha and Church of the Convent of Santo Domingo.
  • Church of the CompaníaPor age and significance, the center of the city retains many buildings, plazas and streets of pre-Hispanic times as well as colonial buildings, which led it to become a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. Among the main sights of the city are:

Barrio de San Blas

Cusco Main Square

This neighborhood is where are the artisans, workshops and craft shops, is one of the most picturesque sites of the city. Its streets are narrow and steep with old mansions built by the Spanish over important Inca foundations. It has an attractive square and Cusco's oldest church built in the year 1563, which has a carved wooden pulpit is considered as the ultimate expression of colonial Cuzco.

The Quechua name of this district is to Toq'ocachi which means the hole of the Sal

Calle Hatun Rumiyuq

This is the most visited by tourists. On the street Rumiyoq Hatun ( "Mayor of the Rock") was the palace of Inca Roca, which currently belongs to the Archbishop's Palace.

On this street that runs from the Plaza de Armas to the San Blas neighborhood, you see the enigmatic stone of twelve angles.

Convento e Iglesia de la Merced

Due to the earthquakes occurred in this city, the Convent of La Merced Church and have been reconstructed more than once. Originally dating from the sixteenth century.

Its cloisters of Baroque and Renaissance highlights particularly the choir stalls, colonial paintings and wood carvings.

You can also view a custodial gold and precious stones, 22 kilograms of weight and 130 cm in height.


Main article: Cathedral of Cusco

In fact, the first cathedral of Cusco is the Victory Church, built in 1539 on the Inca Viracocha's palace. At present, this church is an auxiliary chapel of the cathedral.

Between the years 1560 and 1664 the Cathedral was built in this city. To this end, the Spaniards did bring blocks of red granite from the fortress known as Sacsayhuaman.

This cathedral, Renaissance facade and interiors of Baroque and plateresco boasts one of the most outstanding examples of colonial silversmith. Equally important are the altars of carved wood.

As this city was painting on canvas in the "School of Cusco Painting", precisely in the cathedral there are important examples of local artists of the time.

Plaza de Armas

Awqaypata or place of the warrior was called in time of the Incas. The square was the scene of several important events in the history of this city, as part of the proclamation by Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Cusco.

Iglesia de la Compania

Similarly, the Square was the scene of the death of Tupac Amaru II, considered the leader of indigenous resistance.

The Spanish built in the square a stone archway, which lasts until now. Here are the Cathedral and the church of La Companía.

Iglesia de la Companía

This church whose construction started in 1576 the Jesuits on the grounds of the palace or Amarucancha Inca Huayna Capac, is considered one of the best examples of colonial baroque style of the continent.

Its facade is carved in stone, as shown in the picture, and its altar is of carved wood and covered with gold leaf. It was built on an underground chapel. Additionally, two chapels, one of Lourdes and the ancient oratory of San Ignacio de Loyola.

This temple has a valuable collection of paintings from the Colonial School Cusqueña.

Merced Churche

Coricancha and Convent of Santo Domingo

The Qoricancha was the most important shrine dedicated to Sun God at the time of the Inca Empire. This temple was known as the site of gold and all its walls were covered with sheets of gold by the Incas.

Taking this structure as a basis, we built the Convent of Santo Domingo, in the Renaissance style. The construction of a single tower Baroque rise above the other buildings in this city.

Inside there is a large collection of paintings from the Cuzco School of painting

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