Cusco - The Capital of the Incan Empire
Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
60Trip End May 31, 2008
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Back to Coricancha; the Spanish destroyed the temple and built in its place The Dominican Priory and Church of Santo Domingo
We then took a trip up to a couple of sites on Cusco's hills; the most famous of these sites is Sacsayhuamán. Yes it is kind of funny and it's not a new joke, when you say this name in English it does sound like 'sexy woman'. Sacsayhuamán is a walled complex near the old city of Cusco, in Peru. It is believed that the walls were a form of fortification and it does look like a fortress. Like much Incan stonework how they were constructed remains a mystery. The structure is built in such a way that a single piece of paper will not fit between many of the stones. This precision, combined with the rounded corners of the limestone blocks, the variety of their interlocking shapes, and the way the walls lean inward, is thought to have helped the ruins survive devastating earthquakes in Cusco.
The Spanish harvested a large quantity of rock from the walls of the structure to build churches in Cusco, which is why the walls are in perfect condition up to a certain height, and missing above that point. Sacsayhuamán is also noted for its extensive system of underground passages known as chincanas which connect the fortress to other Inca ruins within Cusco.
At this location also stands the Christo Blanco which overlooks Cusco and is kind of like a mini rip off of the big one at Rio de Janeiro. That evening I met with my group for the Inca Trail trek for a briefing and to finalise a few last minute details.