Bienvenido a Cuzco, navel of the earth

Cuzco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range.Situated at an altitude of 3,416 m, its population of 275,000 is predominantly Indian. Quechua, the Inca language, is still widely spoken.

It was the capital of the Inca Empire (1200s-1532).

Legends tell that in the 12th century, the first Inca, Manco Capac was charged by the ancestral sun god Inti to find the Qosq'o (navel of the earth). When Manco discovered such a point, he founded the city of Cuzco. The city was considered the center of the Inca world, the place where the four parts of the empire came together. It was the hub from which the famous Inca road network radiated.

The Incas worshipped the Sun, or Inti, as master of all things. They also worshipped the Moon, or Quilla, as well as some stars. Likewise, the Thunder and Lightning formed parts of their worship, and they also felt a general sense of devotion for the hills and peaks. The important liturgical ceremonies were held in the hills, and some of these were especailly chosen for the rites of the Panacas. There was also great devotion for the Mother Earth or Pachamama. In the 16th century, they spoke of the god Viracocha (Ticsi Wiracacha Pacha Camachir in the local Quechua language) as the supreme god of the Incas.

The temple of the Sun, Pisaq.

The ninth Inca Pachacutec designed the city in the form of a puma (one of the gods with the condor and the snake) with the 15th-century fortress of Saqsaywaman as the head. The confluence of the Huatanay and Tullumayo rivers was canalized and straightened to form the tail. The core of the city contained official and ceremonial buildings and residences of ruling officials. The Inca capital is especially known for its architecture of enormous cut-stone blocks fitted so perfectly that no mortar was needed. The famous stone with 12 corners.
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro marched on Cuzco in 1533 and the city was destroyed. The Spanish undertook the construction of a new city on the foundations of the old Inca city, replacing temples with churches and palaces with mansions for the conquerors.

San Blas, the oldest church in Cuzco.

El Señor de los Tremblores, also known as the Black Christ, sworn Patron of the city of Cusco.

In 1650, an earthquake shook the city. The Christ was taken out in procession and the earthquake stopped!
Cuzco is the mix of the three cultures: the native Quechua Indian, the conquering colonial Spanish and the modern Mixed or "Cholos".

Much of Peru's religious art was created by indigenous artists under colonial influence. This unique cross-pollination gave birth to Escuela Cuzqueña (Cuzco School).

The Temple of Triumph.
The name Triumph refers to the Spanish victory over the Incas during the battle of Saqsaywaman but also to a miracle: the legend says that virgin Maria came down on earth to protect the Spanish with her coat.

Peruvian drinks and food.
Chicha, the sacred drink of the Incas, made of water and corn.

"Cuy", guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy !!!

Virgen de Natividad festival, Cuzco, September 09.

Listen to Peruvian traditional music:

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