Peru - Cusco

August 2006

 

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Cusco is a 16th century Spanish city built on the foundations of the ancient capital of Inca Qosqo.

Cusco's cathedral contains a unique painting of the last supper - Christ and his disciples are dining on cuy (guinea pig)!

The Santo Domingo Church was built by the Dominicans on the foundation of the Inca Qoricancha (a palace).

Calle Loreto in Cusco is lined with a perfectly fitted Inca wall (without mortar) that was a part of the Inca palace Acllahuasi.

Detail of the nearly perfect Inca stonework lining Cusco's Calle Loreto.

The Jesuit church La Compañia was begun in 1578; theVatican tried to stop its construction before it became larger than Cusco's cathedral.

Rainbow on La Compañia as seen from Calle Mantas.

Many of Cusco's streets are impassible by vehicle; here Philip climbs Resbalosa towards the Inca site Saqsaywaman (Sacsayhuaman).

The beauty of the colonial architectural features is well preserved in Cusco.

Alpaca are prized for their wool and meat. This traditionally dressed woman insisted we photograph her with her alpaca (for a small fee).

These lovely women and their children were stationed in front of the Religious Art Museum looking for tourist donations for photographs.

Traditional dress is the norm for the Quechua-speaking descendents of the Incas.

Northwest of the Plaza de Armas, steep Cuesta Santa Ana is home to Cusco's working people.

Adobe, inexpensive, a pleasing color and warm, is widely used for homes and buildings in Andean Peru.

Loki Backpackers Hostal on Cuesta Santa Ana is housed in a 400 year old former convent with many ancient frescoes.

The courtyard of the historic building housing Loki Backpackers which was home to a convent and then squatters before renovation.

A bright religious fiesta (never properly identified) originating at the Cathedral occured our first morning in Cusco (August 22, 2006).

These woman dancers swung their skirts widely and as they danced in perfect time, swung their arms and played a form of wooden instrument.

This tiny boy pranced and danced in the fiesta parade.

These scary guys were also in dance formation but we were never able to determine their significance.

The significance of these dancers with their elaborate costumes and long batons also eluded our interpretation.

Detail of the pink faced, be-feathered dancer in a religious fiesta parade in Cusco.

Some costumes were much less elaborate.

Little dancers were certainly having fun at the religious fiesta in Cusco.

Beautiful is the only way to describe the children of Peru.

Even teenage girls solomnly particpate in Cusco's many religious fiestas.

Looming Saqsaywaman reminds Cusqueñians of their Inca roots.

Saqsaywaman, an ancient Inca site overlooking Cusco, was described as a fortress by the Spanish conquerors.

The enormous stone walls of Sacsaywaman follow a zig-zag pattern.

Main entrances to Inca sites were normally through a trapazoidal doorway. Philip shows the scale of this entranceway.

The stones in this wall weigh many tons and fit each adjacent stone perfectly. Scholars still marvel at the construction.