Archive - November 2013

Hawkeye November 2013 November 03, 2013

Cuzco, Peru was called Qosqo, or Navel of the World, by the Incas as it was the most important sacred city of the Andes. When the Spaniards came they essentially commandeered the places of worship that the Incas had. The Cuzco Cathedral was built on top of an Inca palace and completed in 1654. Today it contains many oil paintings as well as works of gold and silver. Many religious holidays and festivals with colorful parades are celebrated on the main plaza.

Saqsaywaman , a huge religious and astronomical complex overlooking the city of Cuzco took about 20,000 people 70 years to build out of limestone from nearby quarries. Its three terraces in zigzags represented lightning thunderbolts a physical manifestation of Pachamama, Mother Earth.

In the Sacred Valley a village called Pisaq dates back to Colonial times during the 16th century. Today its handicraft market draws tourists and locals alike.

At Maras there is a compound of several thousand pools where salt water runs in springs from Qoripukyu, or Golden Springs in the mountains. Individual families own the pools. After the water evaporates they recover the salt and sell it.

Ollantaytambo was a large settlement with an unfinished Temple of the Sun on one of its high terraces. It served as a temporary capital for one of the Inca rulers and has been continuously occupied as a settlement for over 500 years.