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City of Cuzco Historical Facts and Pictures

Cuzco, also spelled as Cusco, is the Peruvian capital city of the Cusco Province as well as the Cusco Region. It is located in southeastern Peru at an altitude of 3,400 m above the sea level. During the 15th century, it was remodeled under the reign of Inca Pachacutec and was recognized as the capital of the Inca Empire that covered most of the Andes range. This imperial city was an urban center with perfectly organized and distributed administrative and religious functions.

Cuzco Map

Cuzco Map

History

Prior to the Inca rule, the ancient city was occupied by the Killke people during 900-1200 AD. The Saksaywaman fortress complex, constructed in 1100 AD, is a testament to the influence of the Killke culture in the region. After the onset of Inca rule in the 13th century, the city became famous for its architectural and urban achievements of cultural, economic, and political settlements. Archeological evidence has suggested that the city was developed by a definite plan. Eventually in 1533, the Spaniards with their superior military strength invaded Cuzco and conquered the city.

City of Cuzco

City of Cuzco

City of Cuzco Pictures

City of Cuzco Pictures

Important Landmarks and Sights

Ruins of buildings

Remains of the Saksaywaman complex with a 2,700-square foot ancient temple, Inca palaces, the Temple of the Sun (Qurikancha), and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun still exist. Another famous Inca site, Machu Picchu, which is considered Pachacutec’s winter home, can be reached by train or on foot by Camino Inca (Inca Trail). Some of the less-visited remains are Vitcos, Moray, Patallaqta, Willkaraqay, Inka Wasi, and Willkapampa.

Cuzco Cathedral

Iglesia del Triunfo, the first cathedral constructed in Cuzco in 1539, has now become a chapel of the main cathedral that was constructed during 1560-1664. Built of stone, the great cathedral features Baroque, late Gothic, and Plateresque interiors. It is famous for a painting that depicts the Last Supper.

Plaza de Armas

During the Inca era, the sight of the plaza was called the “Square of the Warrior.” The place has witnessed several notable events associated with the city’s history including the declaration by Francisco Pizzaro and the death of the indigenous leader Tupac Amaru II.

Church of la Compania de Jesus

The construction of this church was initiated in 1576 over a chapel concealed underneath the surface. While its façade is made of stone, the main altar is carved in wood and decorated with gold leaf.

Convent of Santo Domingo

Almost the entire Qurikancha temple was destroyed by the Spanish invaders, who used the temple structure as the foundation of the Convent. Built in Renaissance style, the church with its baroque tower stands taller than most of the other buildings in Cuzco.

Convent of la Merced

Founded in 1536, the original complex was devastated by an earthquake in 1650. It was later reconstructed in 1675, and now it serves as a popular tourist attraction.

Category

Peru

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1100

13°31’30”S and 71°58’20”W

Cusco, Peru
Cusqueno
www.municusco.gob.pe
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cultural