In Cusco, every corner is full of history. Because the ancient capital of Peru (during the Inca Empire), still maintains vestiges of what was the most important power of this ancient civilization.
The ancient history is breathed in every step you take through the streets of its towns, which seem to have stopped in time. Its cities, which are plagued with so much mysticism that you will never want to leave. And if you have to leave, there will always be that desire that consumes you inside to return as soon as possible.
If you plan to visit Cusco and have a few days off, here we show you some places for you to visit.
Colonial Aqueduct of Sapantiana
In the city of Cusco, history is breathed wherever you walk, passing through its streets and squares, the temples and countless archaeological sites. In addition to everything, in recent times the Colonial Aqueduct of Sapantiana has gone viral through social networks; that for years has been neglected and hidden. Now, for the first time in a long time, it can be visited during a short walk through the old neighborhoods of San Cristóbal and San Blas.
The Coricancha / Temple of the Sun
If you are visiting the historic center of Cusco and continue the walk along the emblematic El Sol avenue, you will come across one of the most important Inca temples that were built during its heyday: the Coricancha. Named for the union of the Quechua words quri, which means gold, and kancha, temple. The relevance of this enclosure lies in the fact that it was the main center of adoration and worship of Inti, the Sun god of the Inca Empire, and other maximum deities.
It is likely that at first glance the imposing Catholic building located inside an unscathed stone wall will attract your attention. And it is that, during the period of Spanish colonization, the Convent of Santo Domingo was built on its structures, which means that today this tourist attraction is also considered a symbol of the mixture of Inca and Spanish architecture, being visited by millions of people.
Hatun Rumiyoc Street & 12 Angled Stone
Hatun Rumiyoc, a Quechua word that means “Big Stone” gives us an indication of what this tourist attraction means, and that is that the 12-angled stone is that, a carved stone, specifically green diorite. This is embedded in the outer wall of the palace that is believed to have belonged to Inca Roca, on the street called Hatun Rumiyoc.
The Cathedral of Cusco is one of the most beautiful and significant monuments in America. Built between 1560 and 1664 on the Quishuarqancha, the former palace of the Inca Huiracocha, with huge blocks of stones brought from Sacsayhuaman, this historic piece is also considered Cultural Heritage of the Nation and brings together a combination of unique characteristics such as its Gothic, Baroque and renaissance.
When the Spanish arrived in the city, they requested the creation of the Bishopric of Cusco under Fray Vicente Valverde, it is for this reason that churches began to be built in the city. However, the construction of the cathedral took more than 100 years due to the locations they had to position it. First, it would be built on the site now occupied by the Church of Triumph, then in the Cusipata area due to its size, to finally acquire the Quishuarqancha land in 1553.
Construction in the shape of a Latin cross and with a Renaissance-style façade and interior, it contains the best expressions of colonial goldsmithing, as well as a valuable collection of canvases from the Cusqueña School. Due to the period in which it was built, it inherits in its construction the Gothic-Renaissance of the great Spanish Cathedrals, adding the Baroque style represented in its great altarpiece cover and monumental towers.
The Church of the Company of Jesus
Construction began in 1576 on the Inca Amaru Cancha temple, and it was completely rebuilt after a strong earthquake that affected the city in 1650. With a Latin cross-shaped floor plan, its profusely decorated stone façade has two large towers and two annexed chapels.
Its interior preserves one of the most imposing High Altars made of carved cedar wood and covered in gold leaf. As well as a rich collection of sculptures and paintings from the Cusqueña School.
The church presents on the second level, 2 windows with a panoramic view of the Plaza de Armas Cusco.
Santa Catalina de Sena Monastery Museum
Located in the square of the same name, it was built on the walls and foundations of the old Kancha Inka del Acllawasi (house of the chosen ones). It was owned by Sebastián de Lartaum, who donates the property to the Holy Church, thus being registered in the archives of the Monastery of Santa Catalina.
The academic Humberto Vidal Unda (1958), narrates that the monastery was founded on December 17, 1601, under the protection and patronage of Our Lady of Remedies, having Doña Isabel Rivera de Padilla, widow of Vizcaíno Don Pedro de Báez as patron. ; Before its final construction, the monastery went through a long process of transfers, finally concluding in its current location.
Today, the monastery of Santa Catalina is a place of knowledge and art, and can be visited by the general public; Inside, a variety of works of art and details of the lifestyle and practices of life that the nuns led in the past are exhibited.
Regional Historical Museum of Cusco
On the first floor of the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco, you will enjoy the exhibition of paleontological and archaeological discoveries from the pre-Hispanic era, as well as the huge patio where different cultural images are developed.
Going up to the second floor you will have the opportunity to appreciate the objects used by Inca Garcilaso de La Vega himself as his bed, his desk, among other furniture.
In addition, in an adjoining room, you will enjoy the cultural legacy of the writer and delight yourself with the covers of his books, extracts from his stories, as well as colonial manuscripts.
The indigenous leader José Gabriel Condorcanqui or Túpac Amaru also has a room dedicated to him. In the place, paintings and elements that he used during the revolution are exhibited. Located 2 min walk from the main square of Cusco.
Inca Pachacutec Monument
Built in 1991, it is a building with a cylindrical base of nine levels and a height of 22.40 meters that serves as a pedestal for the bronze statue of 11.50 meters in height. In the different levels there are passages of the history of the Inca Pachacuteq. From the top of the monument you have an excellent panoramic view of the valley of Cusco.