Cusco was the highlight of our journey in Peru’. It really went above all our expectations.
We knew very little of the history and background of Cusco but we discovered that there are bold reasons behind the notoriety of this city that make today the main tourist destination in the country.
Cusco was formerly the capital of the Inca Empire and one of the most important cities of the viceroyalty of Peru.
During the viceregal era, under the sovereignty of the Spanish crown, various baroque and neoclassical churches, universities, palaces and squares were built.
Cusco was declared a National Historical Monument in 1972 and a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO.
And it is usually called, due to the large number of monuments it has, the "Rome of America."
According to the legend, the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo migrated from Lake Titicaca on the advice of their father, the Sun God.
They threw a golden javelin and where it nailed they founded a new town called Cuzco.
However the town became a spiritual and political center under Pachacutec whom in the 15th Century, together with his sun, dedicated five decades to the organization and conciliation of the different tribal groups.
During his rule, the dominion of Cuzco reached as far as Quito, to the north, and to the Maule River, to the south, culturally integrating the inhabitants of 4,500 km of mountain ranges.
The original design of the city is also believed to be the work of Pachacutec.
The plan of ancient Cuzco has the shape of a outlined puma, with the central square Haucaypata in the position that the animal's chest would occupy. The feline's head would be located on the hill where the Sacsayhuamán fortress is located.
The city of Cuzco was designed as the seat of power and its internal organization corresponded to a traditional Inca urban division.
It was located in a strategic central point of the empire, in whose centrality the four main roads of the empire converged.
Although being the most popular touristic destination in Peru, Cuzco as the entire Country, hold on his traditions: language, customs, cuisine, music, still have today a strong local identity.