These courtyards are where colonial architecture shines its brightest: light filled square with a quiet fountain or a beautiful sculpture, surrounded by an airy archway and upwards climbing vegetation. Katedraali ees olevatele laiadele trepiastmetele koguneb iga päev suur hulk rahvast: kes võtab aja maha ja naudib ilma, kes saab sõpradega kokku, kes vurab istujate vahel ning müüb turistidele suveniire — see pilt kerkib mu silme ette, kui keegi mainib Cuscot. Tuhanded inimesed kõnnivad või jooksevad kesköö ajal seitse ringi ümber väljaku ja aasta viimasel minutil süüakse kaksteist viinamarja, sest see tagab hea õnne tulevaks aastaks. Seina peale tahutud päikesesümbolid loovad huvitavaid varje ning talvisel ja suvisel pööripäeval oskasid šamaanid nendest erinevaid ettekuulutusi välja lugeda. Cusco Cathedral is built on the ruins of the temple of Wiracocha that Spaniards destroyed. Cuscost vaid tunni aja kaugusel asub väike ajalooline Pisac.
This lesser known story starts with Wiracocha sending out his four sons and four daughters from Pacaritambo mountain to find a suitable place for a new capital. Brothers and sisters who were also married to each other received a golden staff that was supposed to sink in the ground at a right place.
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Ayar Cachi, the eldest one whose powerful slingshots could crush mountain tops and generate thunder in the sky made his siblings jealous. Together they deviously decided to lock him in a cave. Ayar Cachi is still imprisoned and Incas thought that earthquakes were his fits of rage. Others journeyed on but years later they still had not discovered the right place. One day they reached an enormous cave. A stone idol stood in front of it, oozing powerful energy.
They planned to enter the cave and pray but before Ayar Uchu decided to challenge the idol.
Having touched the stone sculpture, he started turning into stone. Before the complete transformation he asked his siblings to dedicate one day in a year to remembering him. Huarachico is celebrated when a boy reaches adulthood and considered the day of Ayar Uchu. Rest of the group moved on and having wandered for a long time the third brother grew wings. Ayar Auca was able to fly further than others could walk and in his pride, he flew farther and higher.
Landing next to it he was petrified as well. Ayar Manco, the only remaining brother continued with his sisters. Their next resting place was on a small mountaintop next to a picturesque valley. As they sat down, they noticed the golden staff sinking into the ground. Inca capital Cusco was raised on that location. In Quechua Cusco means the navel of the world.
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Ayar Manco became the first Inca ruler Manqu Qhapaq. Discovering the historic streets of Cusco a cold wind urges to draw my jacket a bit more tightly around myself. It was the beginning of December when I reached Cusco and my plan was to spend the holidays in one of the most popular destinations in Peru.
Spanish colonial architecture was prevalent throughout the old town.
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Smooth two- or three-story buildings decorated with rich wooden balconies and baroque doors were dressing up the city in splendidly rich pastel colours. The centre of Cusco is Plaza de las Armas and this is the favourite meeting point for the locals and tourists alike. He started the big expansion over all west coast of South America and during his reign a kingdom became an empire.
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- This lesser known story starts with Wiracocha sending out his four sons and four daughters from Pacaritambo mountain to find a suitable place for a new capital.
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Half of the plaza is surrounded by two churches. Cusco Cathedral is built on the ruins of the temple of Wiracocha that Spaniards destroyed.
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The sheer size of this gothic and renaissance style building is impressive. Although, the main portal is lavishly decorated then the two massive towers and the simple design feel oppressive standing next to the entrance. Every day people gather on the large stairs in front of kuidas ohutada veega cathedral.
Some take a small break, some are there to meet friends, some come to sell trinkets and souvenirs, and some just sit and watch passers-by. This is the image that I get in my head when somebody mentions Cusco. It acts as a sharp contrast to the cathedral. With a beautiful decorative façade, main portal that reminds a high altar and luxuriously decorated towers with double pillars and more piasters that one can count, it feels light and majestic.
This church is one of the best examples of baroque architecture in South America. Lower part of the building mirrors an Incan temple, built from massive smooth dark stones and on top of it sits a South-European city mansion.
After Spaniards conquered the city extensive building efforts were on the way. Most of the material for the new buildings came from demolished Incan temples and houses. These stones were used to build foundations and first floors of new Spanish homes.
As I ventured further up the hill towards the edge of the historic centre the contrast between the colonial town and Incan capital became stronger.
Moving closer towards San Blas area I left the churches and smooth houses behind and suddenly found myself in front of a massive stone wall. This small street, full of camera clicking tourists, small souvenir shops, and locals dressed up like Incan warriors is oo trouber boder slim down of the few places in Cusco where one can marvel at the mastery of Incan architects.
Oo trouber boder slim down that weigh several tons have been cut and smoothed with only bronze oo trouber boder slim down copper tools. What makes this even more impressive is that usually these stones have more corners that four and some can even have up to twelve angles. Architects also hid riddles in these walls.
After staring at the wall for about fifteen minutes we were able to see the shapes of a snake, a lama, and a condor.
This feline symbolises Kay Pacha or our realm. Puma was considered the embodiment of strength, wisdom, and patience. Most relevant traits in our world. Hanan Pacha or the realm of the sky was symbolised in a condor and Ukhu Pacha or the underworld was represented as a snake. The head and the most important sector of the city was the main temple complex Saqsayhuaman or as locals and tourists call it — sexy woman. There on top of the hill with a spectacular view over surrounding area, Incas decided to build a castle, a large temple complex, sacrificial areas, and a gargantuan square.
Before Incas raised their megalithic buildings there was a small settlement there already. Not a lot is known from Killke culture, but when Incas were building Saqsayhuaman, they used and rebuilt some of the structures that were already present. This awe-inspiring place became one of the most important religious locations in Incan empire and now it acts as invaluable research site for Incan culture and history. The strategic importance of Saqsayhuaman was proven by Spaniards when Manco Inca tried to reclaim Cusco but failed.
Outnumbered Spaniards fortified themselves in the castle.
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The strategic advantages were so great that overwhelming Incan army was unable to capture two small entrances to Saqsayhuaman. The complex itself was built so well that neither an army, earthquakes nor time has been able to destroy its gigantic walls.
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The historic centre is full of museums that flaunt with exceptional displays of historical artefacts. Although, most of the information is in Spanish and the presentation a bit out of date. Even if visiting museums is not high on your priority it is still recommended to step into the courtyards. Stepping through the gate and leaving behind the moderate appearance a secret space will open. These courtyards are where colonial architecture shines its brightest: light filled square with a quiet fountain or a beautiful sculpture, surrounded by an airy archway and upwards climbing vegetation.
A place where stones gather the heat of the day and then release it back to the visitors in the late evening cool. Cusco is a great place to introduce yourself to South American and high Andean culinary. Chirimoyas, grenadillas, enormous avocados, fresh sweet pineapples, several thousand sorts of potatoes and some hundred types of corn are just a few highlights of the popularity gaining Peruvian cuisine.
Chicha, Incans favourite drink is lightly fermented corn beer. Some places they still make it in an old-fashioned way — chewing on corn and the spitting it into water. This makes the corn ferment and after a few days it will reach the desired alcoholic level. Sometimes strawberries are mixed in as well, to add some sweetness.
Chichamorada is a non-alcoholic drink which is made of purple corn and is also one of the more popular drinks in Peru. During the weekends evening Cusco is full of food stalls that offer local delicacies like barbacoa, seafood, vegetables, soups and sweets — from churros to hand-made ice-cream.
Cusco draws over 3 million tourists a year, so you can also find a lot of international restaurants — from Italian pizza and pasta to Japanese sushi and ramen places. One of the more mesmerizing parts of Cusco is the old San Blas district.
Considered kaalulangus uhe f1 rassi be an artisan and bohemian neighbourhood, it is difficult to walk along its narrow-cobbled streets and not pass by several artisans selling their craft or jump in a studio to witness how alpaca wool poncho is oo trouber boder slim down made.
It is also a good idea to turn around on these steep streets and look down upon the city that spreads like an orange carpet all over the valley floor and up the rolling hills. The highlight of the district is San Blas market.
Visiting during lunch hours you will be struck by a loud, busy, chaotic energy that is accompanied by overwhelming scent of various meals and ingredients. This place is always full and for a reason. This market is known all over Cusco and Peru.
As you visit this place more often certain favourites will emerge. Loyalty will be rewarded with bigger portions, friendlier prices, and useful insights into local attractions to visit. In the beginning of December various Christmas decorations appear across the town — statues of saints, nativity scenes, and of course street food stalls which offer traditional Peruvian Christmas treats like hot oo trouber boder slim down drinks, tamales, panettones, and turkey.
On Christmas eve Plaza de las Armas transforms into a massive market called Santurantikuy. There you can buy art, jeweler, clothes, souvenirs, food, and may more things. However, as the name suggests this market is most known for one specific item — small saint figurines and dolls. Different kinds of stalls that span over half of the plaza sell different size dolls of different saints.
If you already have a doll, then you can also purchase a new pair of colourful or golden garments for them as well.
The square was full for three days in a row and people flock to the market form all over Cusco and surrounding areas. During night-time people sleep under archways on the edges of the square. This is a hard sight to see.
People come to town with most of their material possessions, carrying it themselves, mules or put together some money to rent a bus or use a public transport.
They do not go back until everything has been sold or the market ends. Thousands of people walk or run seven times around the square and on the last minute of the year eat twelve grapes. All of this for good luck for the following year. Midst all these people children run around and throw small fireworks into the crowd and sometimes a badly reinforced rocket flies into the wrong direction.