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Unveiling the Magnificence of Inca Heritage

Sucsayhuaman - Cusco, Peru

View Around the World! - Part 1 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

Today, our journey starts in Cusco, Peru at an elevation of a little over 11,500 feet above sea level. After flying from Pisco, Peru, we headed to Limo restaurant, located in a beautiful old colonial house with a stunning outlook of the "Plaza de Armas." Despite the ongoing citizen demonstration, we felt safe and secure due to the noticeable police presence.


This historic city center was filled with cobblestone streets, colonial churchs, and building foundations laid by the Inca more than 500 years ago. We visited the Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Inca palace. The interior of the cathedral is adorned with numerous works of art, including the High Altar, which is entirely made of silver, and the choir, built entirely in cedarwood. We marveled at the pulpits carved entirely from the trunk of two cedar trees -truly a work of unbelievable craftsmanship.


The next stop on our journey was Sacsayhuaman, an ancient fortress-temple located on the northern outskirts of Cusco. The site's name is derived from the Quechua words "Sacsay," meaning satisfied, and "huaman," meaning falcon. It was built in the shape of a puma, a symbol of power in Andean culture. Construction began in 1350, taking 25,000 Incas 90 years to complete. When you see the massive stone walls and intricate stonework, it's easy to see why it took so long to build. The stone in the photo on the left was 21 feet tall!


There were architects, engineers, astronomers, drillers and craftsmen who worked with these immense blocks of limestone which were hauled from a nearby site. No two rocks are the same. There are three levels to the principal structure which consists of massive zig-zag walls. No mortar was used and the rocks weighing from 90 to 120 tons were put together like pieces of a jig-saw puzzle with amazing precision.


Our day ended with a grand dinner event in a historic convent, where we were welcomed by costumed characters. The dinner took place in a stunning setting, and a performance representing the Incan gods - Sun, Moon, Mother Earth, Rainbow, and Lightning - brought the event to a close.


We retired at the end of a very long day at a remarkable hotel in an old monastery.


Posted by Where2FromHere 19:36 Archived in Peru

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