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Cusco Plaza Sq by kalin

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
kalin kalin
Explore score
0.05 Gigapixels
Date added
Mar 12, 2009
Date taken
Mar 11, 2009

For this square was not only the physical, but also the spiritual heart of the empire. Whenever a new territory was conquered by the Inca, a portion of its soil was brought back and symbolically mixed with that of the Huacaypata. To all sides stood some of the most important complexes of their capital. Now all that can be seen of these edifices are the bottom thirds of the walls, the ingenious Inca stonework having been built on by their Spanish conquerors. The Palace of the Inca Wiracocha is now the site of the Cathedral. The Palace of the Serpents has the Compania atop it.

The square has a fountain at its centre—as with every other Plaza de Armas in Peru, be it Lima or Arequipa. First take a look at the church on the southern side of the square. This is the Compania de la Jesus, the church of the Jesuits. Its facade is a riot of curlicues and carvings - local craftsmen taking the philosophy of the Baroque style and going absolutely mental with it. Compare it to the rather plain and austere walls of the Cathedral to your left. As a 16th century local I know where I'd prefer to visit for my mandatory conversion. Inside there is a magnificent gold altarpiece.

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