http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html Pucapucara on the road from Cusco to the Sacred Valley is often called the Red Fort. But it’s more likely it was a customs house for traders entering the imperial capital. From the valley below it presents a sheer stonewall, but from road on the other side it appears to be a more open building with few defenses. The walls include examples of the Inca’s distinctive trapezoidal niches also found at Machu Picchu. The building includes a number of rectangular structures that were most likely warehouses. It also includes channels that fed running water throughout the complex. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html Not far from Puca Pucara, on the road from Cusco to the Sacred Valley, Tambomachay combines intricate stonework with the Inca’s devotion to water. Known as the Baths of the Incas, a number of aqueducts and channels run through the site. But the focal point is a string of carefully designed waterfalls, which split spring water into a series of cascades… …that fall in such a precise and delicate manner that it’s believed they were built as part of a water cult. The trapezoidal niches on the high terrace and off to the side of the waterfall are among the most highly crafted stone constructions left by the Incas. The precision of the falls is matched by a similar water feature at Ollantaytambo, but the Incas also showed great control over water for more practical purposes. Their use of stone irrigation channels to feed agricultural terraces around Cusco and the Sacred Valley allowed them to grow abundant crops at high altitudes, something previous Andean cultures never achieved. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html The shrine at Qenqo is a short distance from Saqsayhuaman, both overlooking Cusco from the north. While the fortress is a prime example of the Incas unearthly interlocking stonemasonry, Qenqo shows their skill at shaping large rock monoliths where they stand, without the use of metal tools. . The huge monolith has a warren of tunnels carved out of natural splits and breaks in the rock, including a number of niches thought to have been burial sites for the nobility.. An amphitheater on the northside centers on a tall rock, that could have been a statue of a puma, which indicates Qenqo was used for religious purposes. On top of the rock a series of zigzag carvings served as channels for chicha, an alcohol used in rituals, or for sacrificial blood. Several other stone carvings on top of the stone resemble a house, a puma and a condor. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html This enormous stone fort on the northern edge of Cusco continues to play an important role in preserving elements of the Inca culture, starting with its awe inspiring array of the empire’s unmatched stonework.. The stones used to build Saqsayhuaman are the largest found at any Inca ruin, but the masons created perfectly interlocking joins with no mortar or metal tools. The largest stone stands 8 and a half meters high and weighs more than a hundred tons. Experts who believe that Cusco was built in the shape of a puma, say that the fortress forms the “head” of the animal, and its three rows of zigzag walls are the teeth. But the walls also performed a strategic function. Any besieging army that wanted to charge the walls would expose its flank to defenders hurling missiles from above. It played an important role in the defense of the Empire. Manco Capac II seized it from the conquistadors in 1536. His 11 month siege of Cusco failed and his forces retreated back for a last stand at Ollantaytambo, before taking refuge in the Amazon fortress of Vilcabamba. Saqsayhuaman used to have three stone towers, and had enough buildings to house 5000 soldiers, but for centuries it was used as a ready cut stone quarry for builders in colonial Cusco, so few structures apart from the imposing outer walls still remain. The fortress retains an important ceremonial role. It’s the main site of the annual Inti Raymi festival held on the 24th of June, hosting a reenactment of the Inca’s winter solstice. An actor plays the great Inca emperor Pachacutec, and hundreds of Cusquenians are involved as soldiers, priests and servants in a lavish, three hour production. The festival draws thousands of visitors to Cusco every year. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html Koricancha was the center of the Inca cosmos, the point from which 42 lines extend arrow-straight in all directions and sometimes for hundreds of miles out across the old Empire. Along these lines the Incas built hundreds of shrines. Koricancha is often called the Temple of the Sun, but that was just one of the buildings that makes up the complex. It’s an unusual sight, with the Convent of Santo Domingo built on top of Inca stonemasonry, but inside entire walls and rooms remain intact. These chambers were revealed when an earthquake damaged the convent in 1953, but left the Inca walls unharmed. Authorities decided to rehabilitate the site, and visitors can now walk through several of the temple’s original chambers. The dark stones, sharp edges and almost seamless stonework are the most intricate found in Peru. Trapezoidal archways and sloping walls show the Inca’s ingenious building techniques, but the curve of the outside wall, best seen from the street, is among their greatest achievements as stonemasons. The walls of this temple were once covered in pure gold plates, and implements and statues made from the precious metal filled the courtyard. Historians describe a “field” of corn, with leaves and stems of silver, and kernels made from gold. All of these objects were a central part of religious ceremonies devoted to the sun god Inti, and the creator god Viracocha, performed by hundreds of priests around the clock.. Much of the gold was taken from the temple and used as ransom by the last Inca emperor Atahualpa. The rest was melted down and shipped off to Europe by the Spanish in the early years of the conquest. Koricancha was not just a temple, it was also the Inca’s main observatory, the center of a grid of astronomical points around the city used to measure solar movements. It’s from this starting point that Cusco takes its original name Qosqo, meaning “navel of the world”. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cusco_tours.html Looming over the corner of Cuscos main square, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo embodies the clash between the Inca Empire and the Spanish colonists. The church was built on the site of a palace built by the Inca Viracocha, who ruled Cusco 100 years before the conquistadors arrived. Construction of the cross-shaped cathedral started in 1550, but it took almost a century to complete. Most of the stones were taken from nearby fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The mostly Inca workforce incorporated some of their own religious iconography into the building, with the head of a puma featuring prominently on the cathedral doors. The enormous cathedral is flanked by two smaller churches. It houses more than 400 paintings, including many from the Cusco School. During the movement in the 17th century painters from Cusco produced religious art thats now found in churches across Latin America. Paintings of the Last Supper show Jesus and the Disciples eating guinea pig and tropical fruits. One of the paintings depicts the great earthquake of 1650 that damaged most of the buildings in the city. The cathedral also hosts the Lord of the Earthquakes, an icon of Jesus thats carried around the city on Easter Monday. An altarpiece covered in baroque silver plate stands at one end of the main hall, with an ornate cedar choir featuring carvings of saints, popes and bishops at the other. At more than 2 meters high, and weighing almost 6000 kilograms, the Maria Angola bell is the largest in South America. Its got a crack in it, but people say it can still be heard from 20 miles away. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true
http://www.fertur-travel.com/cajamarca_tours.html The beautiful north Andean town of Cajamarca is an unlikely spot to be the point from which the Spanish started their conquest of Peru in 1532. It was here that they captured the Inca Atahualpa and held him for ransom. Six tons of gold and silver was delivered in exchange for his life, but fearing reprisals the Spanish took the precious metals and killed their hostage. Today, Cajamarcas laid back serenity belies that violent history. Atahualpas ransom room remains intact, the last vestige of Inca architecture in a quiet colonial town. Its Andean-Baroque style Cathedral and the churches of San Francisco, Belén and La Recoleta front the graceful Plaza de Armas. At the center of the main square is an ornate fountain built in 1692 to commemorate the bicentennial of Columbus' landing in the Americas. Beyond Cajamarca lie the rolling hills and green valleys of Perus northern tropical highlands. The Baños del Inca, natural hot springs once favored by Inca royalty can be found five miles (8 km) from town. The Ventanillas de Otuzco form an ancient cemetery that pre-dates the Caxamarca culture. Hundreds of galleries and individual niches that look like windows have been hewn into the volcanic stone.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/arequipa_tours.html Andean Sanctuaries Museum in Arequipas Catholic University Santa Maria The depository for the preservation and exhibition of objects and mummies found atop the volcanoes that surround the city. These mummies were offered to Apu deities as an appeal for bountiful seasonal harvests and to prevent volcanic eruptions. Most of those ritually sacrificed were children and adolescents. The most famous of the mummies is the Lady of Ampato, a girl who was between 12 and 14 years old, found buried in the ice atop Mount Ampato. Also known as the Ice Queen or Juanita, mummy died sometime between 1440 and 1450. She was found in 1995 by anthropologist Johan Reinhard and his Peruvian climbing partner Miguel Zarate. Remarkably well-preserved after 500 years, Juanita was subject to biological tests on her lungs, liver, and muscle tissue.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/arequipa_tours.html The Church of the Jesuits is famous for its intricately carved façade. Its a prime example of Perus mestizo art style, which is matched by the opulence of the altar and sacristy. In its entirety, the church and its cloister, form a monument representing Peru's religious architecture of the 17th century. Another example of Hispanic-mestizo artwork are the architectural columns in the church's patios, each fashioned from carved stone.
http://www.fertur-travel.com/arequipa_tours.html The Plaza de Armas of Arequipa is the pulsing heart of a provincial city rich in history and local culture. Its inhabitants express a fierce loyalty to their city, rivaling that of any Parisian or New Yorker. Theres even a joke that Arequipeneans need a passport to visit the rest of Peru. In 1735 Bishop Cavero built a three-story high fountain topped by the image of an archangel that the people named Tuturutu. On the north side of the Plaza is the impressive, twin-towered Cathedral, founded in 1612 and largely rebuilt in the 19th century following repeated damaged from earthquakes and fire. The plaza is surrounded on its other three sides by a string of buildings linked by colonial arcades.. Beneath the archways are a range of cafes and restaurants. A short distance uphill on the way to the Santa Catalina convent youll find a broad range of arts and crafts stalls. Fertur Peru Travel. A full service travel agency and tour operator dedicated to making your journey to Peru a dream come true.