Cuzco is located in the southeast of Peru in the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) in the Andes, at an altitude of 3,500 m above sea level. In the ancient city there are a large number of churches, temples and monasteries, but the main temple of Cuzco is the Cathedral of the AssumptionOur Ladyon the central square of the Plaza de Armas, built on the foundation of the Inca palace.
Myths and Facts
The construction of the cathedral began in 1550 on the site of one of the most important temples the Incas dedicated to the god Viracocha. The building materials used were stones of the destroyed Inca shrines, including reddish granite blocksSacsayhuaman Fortress.
The work lasted more than a century. It seemed that nature itself hindered the construction of a new the temple . Construction stopped several times due to earthquakes, the largest of which occurred in 1650. Finally, replacing the three architects who led the construction, the cathedral still was opened in 1668.
What to see
Cusco Cathedral is designed in the form of a Latin cross in the Gothic style with baroque fragments on the facade and consists of a main building and several chapels. In the design, you can see some Inca religious symbols included in the architectural elements of the Cathedral of Cuzco, such as the carved head of the cougar (an important Inca deity) on the doors of the temple (the Incas were the main labor in the construction of the building).
In the central part of the cathedral is a massive silver altar. The choir is decorated with a number of carved statues of saints, popes and bishops, all with amazing detail. There are chapels on each side of the nave, one of them - Nuestra Senora de los Temblores (Our Lord of the Earthquake) - contains a golden crucifix, which, according to legend, saved the chapel from destruction during the 1650 earthquake.
The high walls of the temples are considered one of the best examples of painting at the Cuzco school. The most valuable collection of paintings from the mid-17th century decorates the sacristy. Another attraction is the largest bell in South America in 1659 in one of the towers of the cathedral.
The Cathedral in Cusco (Cathedral of Cusco) is open on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat from 10.00 to 11.30, the rest of the days from 14.00 to 17.30.
Cost: Boleto Turistico (a comprehensive ticket for visiting 16 Cusco attractions, costing $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for students and children, valid for 10 days)
* The ticket price includes an audio guide in English, which is available on request.