Cusco Sights and Landmarks Guide, Peru
Cusco has remained in the annals of history as the capital of the glorious Inca Empire. This fantastic city has a long and fascinating history, and it has become Peru’s most visited tourist destination. Cusco is located in a lush valley and it is a great starting point for treks leading to other major Peruvian attractions. Cusco is not only the historic capital of the country, but also a World Heritage Site that receives millions of tourists every year. The city’s beautifully preserved architecture and the Quechua heritage and traditions make Cusco a great place for people who are curious about different cultures and open to new experiences. This Cusco Sights Guide will point out the main attractions that you absolutely mustn’t miss when visiting this amazing city.
Cusco Sights - Architecture
Like Lima Sights and Arequipa Sights, Cusco is an intriguing blend of two very different architectural styles. Although the original Inca city was destroyed by the conquistadores in the 16th century, Cusco still has some Inca architecture left. The ruins of the Temple of the Sun can still be seen in the city, as well as many Inca building foundations that have been built over by the Spaniards. If you are looking for some well preserved Inca architecture, you can find some interesting sites just outside the city.
The famous ruins of Macchu Picchu are located nearby, and can be reached on foot or by train. Other noteworthy Inca sites include Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman. After conquering Cusco, the Spanish soldiers demolished most of the Inca houses and used the bricks to build very different buildings. Cusco’s colonial architecture is strongly reminiscent of old Spanish towns. Even in the city centre, there are many buildings with typical window shutters, arches and wooden balconies. There are many narrow cobbled streets winding through the unique blend of Spanish and Inca culture, so this Cusco Sights Guide recommends that you visit the city on foot.
Cusco Sights - Museums
Cusco is a genuine treasure for anyone interested in South American history, and the amateur historian, as well as the curious visitor, can learn many things in the city’s numerous museums. Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha is the best place to get started on Inca history. In addition to a large display of Inca artifacts, there is a sizeable collection of other pre-Columbian objects and art. For a deeper and more detailed understanding of the native culture, visit Museo Inka, ironically housed by one of the city’s most beautiful colonial buildings. The descendents of the Inca are present in large numbers in the city, and the Museo de Arte Popular displays some remarkable example of traditional art.
For more recent pieces of Peruvian art, visit the Museo Historico Regional, fund in the home of the famous Inca historian Garcilaso de la Vega. The museum displays an impressive collection of 17th and 18th century paintings.