Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cusco - The Historic Capital of the Inca Empire

Flying to Cusco. The Andes Mountains.

Cusco is about 12,000 feet above sea level. You really can feel that thin air the minute you get off the plane. I loved Cusco. The colors of the city seemed so bright and vibrant to me. The sky was the bluest blue.

I love this picture. The women carry all kinds of things but most often babies in these large squares of cloth they tie on their backs.

The Plaza de Armas - this is the city center. It was such a lovely place to sit and people watch and just enjoy the beauty of the city.

Some more of beautiful balconies

The Cathedral of Cusco
The Cathedral of Cusco faced the Plaza. Sitting on the steps in front of the Cathedral was one of our favorite places to sit and watch and talk to the locals. The locals speak amazing english. They are all selling something but they will stop and chat with you but in the end the last thing they want to say is will you buy?

The plaza at sunset. The Church of La Compania on the left.

Traditional Indian dress. These little girls and women would walk around and if you wanted to take their pictures you had to pay them.

This is one of the shops we stopped at and the people also lived above the shop.

This little guy was starting some weaving. He was making bracelets.
The Plaza again.
Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro officially discovered Cusco on March 23, 1534. This is the road that he first entered the city on.The spanish undertook new construction using the foundations of the old Inca city, replacing temples with cathedrals and palaces with mansions for the conquerers. The walls on the right side of the photo are the Inca constructed walls. The craftmanship was amazing. The wall on the left is Inca wall that was torn apart by the spaniards, because they thought there was gold in the walls, then they reconstructed the walls. Big difference. It is believed that the walls were all covered with gold and silver and the Spaniards took it all when they conquered the city.

A view of the city. They have an amazing history and they are so proud of their heritage.

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