Why is Cusco so special? – part 1 of the Cusco series

Having travelled from Lima to Arequipa via Nazca was already amazing. Is there a location which can top that? Oh yes, there are a few more to mention: Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca will impress you even more.

For now let’s concentrate on beautiful Cusco. I cannot explain what it is but Cusco felt very special to me. There is so much to say about this city that I have decided to write a few posts.

So why is Cusco so special and what should you visit?

1. Now let’s start with the Plaza de Armas, the main square in Cusco at sunset which makes this city shine in its glory.

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, is showing its beauty in the sunset
Plaza de Armas, Cusco, is showing its beauty in the sunset

2. Cusco was  the historic capital of the Inca Empire, the navel of the Incan world, from the 13th century to 1532 until the Spanish conquest. You still can see some of the Incan architecture in Cusco, however, most of the walls of Inca masonry have been incorporated into spanish colonial buildings.

Two ladies and their llama on their way home
Two ladies and their llama on their way home

beautiful lane in Cusco

3. The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumptions of the Virgin

on the Plaza de Armas was built in 1654; joined to the cathedral is the smaller Church ‘Triunfo’ the first Christian church in Cusco.

Cathedral Cusco
beautiful Cusco in the frame

However, when you think about it, it is actually sad. The Incas built a temple known as ‘Kiswarkancha’ on the main plaza in Cusco. It was the Inca palace before the Spanish colonists destroyed the temple and build their Christian cathedral in that place. Their intention was to remove the Inca religion from Cusco and replacing it with the Spanish christian churches.

The Cathedral is shaped like a Latin Cross. Most of the stones were taken from the Inca site “Saqsaywaman’ located on the hills above Cusco. 

4. Guinea pig for the last supper – painting:

Did you know that this Cathedral has a painting which shows the guinea pig for last supper? If you want to visit, go between 6 – 9am for free entrance, outside those hours you will have to pay.

Cusco Cathedral
Cathedral in Cusco

 

5. Cusco has beautiful colourful lanes:

the blue balconies in Cusco, Peru
the blue balconies in Cusco, Peru
Colourful lane in Cusco, Peru
Colourful lane in Cusco, Peru
streets in Cusco
streets in Cusco
life in the streets of Cusco, Peru
life in the streets of Cusco, Peru

6. Follow the lane and have a look up – can you see the White Christ statue on the top of the hill?

the lane which leads to the White Christ
the lane which leads to the White Christ

7. impressions from San Blas in Cusco an area I loved wandering around.

colourful door on San Blas, Cusco
colourful door on San Blas, Cusco
street life in Cusco
street life in Cusco

You want to see more and would like to know which restaurants I can recommend or do you want to go for Salsa lessons and party? What about the food markets, do you like chocolate and you are not sure where to get it? Part 2 is coming out soon.

Have a wonderful day.

Alex

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