The Spanish Language Blog

Cuzco, a sacred city in the Inca Empire

Cuzco, located in Peru on the west coast of South America. Located 3360 meters above sea level, Cuzco is the oldest city in the western hemisphere. Until the Spanish conquered Cuzco in the 16th century, it was an important city in the Inca Empire. Until the 16th century, Cuzco was the Inca capital of Tawantinsuyu. Since 1983, the old center of Cuzco has been on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Cuzco is by no means the largest city in Peru. Cuzco has more than 300,000 inhabitants. The name Cuzco derives from the word "Quechua" which means navel, the navel of the world. Cuzco is also called the imperial city. From the 13th century, the Incas lived around Cuzco. Cuzco was the Inca capital of their empire. The Incas lived in Peru until the 16th century. The Inca empire expanded from northern Argentina to southern Colombia.

Cuzco is home to many attractions from the Inca Empire. For example, Plaza de Armas was the main square of the city. On this square you can find a beautiful cathedral and 2 churches, including Iglesia de Triunfo, the oldest church in Cuzco. The twelve-sided stone the Monastery of Santa Domingo and the Tambomachey are other important sights in Cuzco. Tambomachey is made of limestone and built by the Incas. In the Inca Empire, it had a religious function with water and earth. Today, water still flows through the Tambomachey. On June 24, the biggest festival of the year takes place in Cuzco, the Inti Raymi festival, the Feast of the Sun. This celebration includes many traditions and ceremonies from the Inca Empire.

The Inca trail

Near Cuzco lies the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is ideal for a day trip from Cuzco. Besides being a beautiful setting for various activities, the Valley is also home to the remains of Inca villages. Also the Inca trail can be found here. The Inca Trail is a 33 kilometer trek that takes about four days to complete. It is the most famous hike in South America and is also in the top 5 hikes worldwide. The Inca trail was built by the Incas in the Sacred Valley. The Inca trail leads to Machu Picchu located just over 100km from Cuzco. Although Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire, today Machu Picchu is considered the most important city of the Inca Empire. When the Spanish conquered Peru in the 16th century, Machu Picchu was never found. This ensures that everything is the same as before, making it now one of the most important cities from the Inca Empire. The remains from the Inca Empire provide the most important information about how the Incas lived. The Incas could not write well, so apart from the remains from the Inca Empire, how the Incas lived is still a mystery.

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