We made our way across the ancient stone streets of Cusco, passing by the Fountain Moquegua designed by Gustave Eiffel (of the Paris tower fame) in the Plaza de Armas. We were struck by the beauty of this high altitude city as we gazed upon the Cathedral Basilica dating from Spanish viceroyalty times (mid 1600s), built out of renaissance styled slabs of red granite while baroque style silver work adorns its interior.
Considered the archaeological capital of South America due to its Inca ruins, Cusco is a must if you are traveling in Peru. We witnessed this first hand as we walked through the Santo Domingo church built upon the foundations of the Inca Temple Koricancha, dedicated to worship the Sun God. The lovely colonia house, Casa Cabrera, is now the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, the only museum in Peru dedicated to the arts of ancient Peruvian cultures. The museum contains a collection of 450 masterpieces dating from 1250BC to 1532AD. Our tour was followed by lunch in their lovely dining room.
After lunch we made our way through the winding streets of the district of San Blas with its whitewashed houses, blue balconies hung with geranium-filled flowerpots, uneven lines of tiled rooftops, and the endless stairways. The neighborhood is home to the folk artists of Cusco who for centuries have used their hands to tell the tale of their longings and frustrations working in stone and woodcarving, sculpture, doll-making, silverware, weaving and textile arts, gold-leaf, mask-making, and an array of ceramics in utilitarian, architectural, sculptural, monumental, grotesque and many other styles for example Edilberto Merida, renowned sculptor.
As we began to wrap up our day of exploring Cusco we happened upon a celebration winding itself around the Cathedral and were fortunate enough to snag a prime viewing spot. The dancers were colorful, the music celebratory, and the pageantry evident. It was a perfect way to end our day in the beautiful city of Cusco.
Read our Planning a Trip to Peru for our travel tips.
Mary Beth I have a passion for creating and experiencing unforgettable moments and sharing those with others. I hope that this story has helped you experience one of those moments.