ITINERARY CODE: CTCU01
1. The Cathedral
Built between 1560 and 1664 out of large slabs of red granite taken from the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the Cathedral is one of the most imposing structures in the city. Its façade, built in Renaissance style, contrasts with the Baroque and silver of its lavish interior. It also houses one of the most important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña. On either side of the slabs of red granite are two small auxiliary chapels. One of these, the Del Triunfo church, in fact Cusco's first Cathedral, was built in 1539 on top of the palace of Inca Wiracocha.
2.- Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
The convent was built on the spectacular Koricancha ("site of gold"), the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and whose walls were plated with sheets of gold. The convent was built on a foundation of smoothened stone structures -the most finely crafted in Cusco- taken from the Inca sanctuary. The façade of the convent is an excellent example of Renaissance art and its distinctive spire, built in Baroque style, stands out over the thatched roofs of the Cusco skyline. Like the two churches mentioned above, it houses an impressive collection of canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.
An imposing example of Inca military architecture, the fortress of Sacsayhuaman was built using large slabs of granite to safeguard the city from attack by Antis, or invading forces from the East . Sacsayhuaman ("satisfied falcon" in Quechua) is made up of three large terraces which overlap in a zigzag formation surrounded by enormous stone ramparts of up to 300 meters in length. Its elevation and proximity to Cusco, as well as the dimensions of the stones -up to 5 meters high and weighing up to 350 tons-¬made Sacsayhuaman a quarry for certain structures in colonial Cusco.
4.- Kenko and Puca Pucara
Kenko is a ritual site built on a sole outcrop of limestone, with underground galleries and a semicircular amphitheater. Puca Pucara (in Quechua, "red fortress"), was a military installation made up of stairways, terraces and large walls which once formed part of the capital's defense system. Both structures are part of the archaeological circuit near the city of Cusco.
Also known as the "Baños del Inca" or the Inca baths, Tambomachay was apparently a site dedicated to the worship of water and a resting place for the Inca monarch. Among its most notable features are its system of aqueducts, canals and cascades carved in stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby spring. According to experts, Tampumachay was also a kind of royal garden, abounding in ornamental vegetation and fed by an intricate network of canals.
- Transportation by tourist bus
- Professional guide English and Spanish
- Entrance to Koricancha (4 Dollars or 10 soles: Foreign or Peruvian) - ($ 2 or 5 Soles for Student)
- Partial tourist revenue: Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Puka Pukara, tambomchay (16 Dollars or 40 soles.
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Address: Plateros Street 373-A, Cusco - Peru
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