Oh Just the Incan Empire Capital...
Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
19Trip End Nov 21, 2006
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My favorite part of Cusco was touring the beautiful cathedrals in the main square on Sunday. They were erected by the Spanish after they conquered the Incans. I especially enjoyed seeing inside the main Catedral (pronounced Cat-tee-dral) It was massive inside! The multiple altar pieces alone were spectacular. Intricate carvings in cedar wood were overlaid with 22 karat gold or pure silver or a combination of the precious metals
On Saturday, we visited the Oyantantambo ruins, the last "standing" Incan city in Peru. We climbed a big terraced structure, which used to house their temples and religious centers. It was a stopping point and resting place for the Incan messenger service. I was impressed by the perfectly cut, granite rocks that fit together flawlessly. The people who built it lugged these massive boulders from a quarry 6 to 7 miles away up a huge mountain. Why? I suppose in the name of religion. Anyway, the terrace system was used for farming into the sides of mountains and was very effective for the Incans. I was amazed (and slightly confused by the location) at the grain storehouses they built way up on the sides of the mountains. they had to save one-third of their crops for paying taxes to the Empire, one-third for the dry season, and one-third for consuming. That is a lot of farming!