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The City of Cuzco: Inca and European architecture

  • Published on Dec 05, 2016 Destinations
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The city of Cusco shows us the Inca legacy in its entire splendor. Each narrow street of a millenary architecture is a valuable heritage that endures over time. Known as the capital of the Inca Empire, it was considered “the Navel of the World” because it was the political, economic, and administrative center of the Tahuantinsuyo (Inca territory).

Located in the heart of the Andes, at 3399 m.a.s.l., the city of Cusco stands out because it has been designed in the shape of a lying down puma, an animal that was worshiped by the Inca civilization. According to the layout of this millenary city, Sacsayhuaman would be the head of the feline, the heart would be located in the main square, more precisely  in Kiswarkancha ( the ancient palace of Inca Wiracocha), while Koricancha would be part of the genitalia. Finally, the tail would end in the district of Pumaqchupan, the place where the river Saphy and the river Tullumayo meet.

The architectural fusion of the city of Cusco offers open spaces, incredible views, and an impressive colonial architecture style in each building. Cusco’s buildings, considered unique because of their irreplaceable history, are the subject of this Inca-European hybrid architecture.

Discover more about the two predominant architectures in the city.

Inca Architecture

The architecture of the city of Cusco is one of the most important among pre-Columbian cultures. It has indigenous construction techniques and buildings made out of large stones, each fitting together without any amalgam.

Witness of great events of history, the Inca civilization had three types of architecture: civil architecture (the 12-Angled Stone), military architecture (Sacsayhuaman), and religious architecture (Koricancha). The Inca buildings were erected in rectangular spaces, using materials such as rocks and mudbricks. These works of art respect and keep harmony with its environment.

Colonial Architecture

Leaving the European pattern aside, the colonial architecture based its constructions on the artistic and cultural Spanish-Andean fusion. Its design was reflected in various monuments, churches, monasteries and Cusco’s palaces such as: Cusco Cathedral, the House of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Archbishop’s Palace, among others.

The City of Cusco opens its doors and shows its Inca architecture legacy, encouraging the discovery of impressive buildings that endure over time.

Don’t think it over and dare to discover these relics!

  • Arquitectura-Koricancha
  • Arquitectura-de-Koricancha
  • Koricancha
  • Koricancha
  • Piedra-de-los-doce-angulos
  • Piedra-de-los-doce-angulos
  • Sacsayhuaman
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