Plaza de Armas

Cusco, Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas has always been the heart of Cusco, from the time of the Inca Empire when the square was called Huacaypata or Aucaypata, to modern day.

Most cities in Latin America were built by Spanish conqueror based on the grid pattern that inspired from the Roman Castrum. The building is actually built for the military purpose where one block will used as the Plaza de Armas.

Plaza de Armas was known as Huacaypata (Warrior Square in quechua) in Inca times and is believed to have been designed by Manco Cápac.

A magnificent Cathedral and the Church of La Compañía flank it on two sides.

The Plaza was the scene of many key events in the history of the city. It was here that Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco.

The arrival of the Spanish brought many changes to the Plaza, including the addition of the beautiful stone arches that surround it.

This area also has its own Plazas, most notably the Plaza Regocijo, or Plaza of Elation, an allusion to the previous Incan designation of this area as Cusipata, or Patio of Happiness.

There are also a number of historic churches worth visiting here, most notably the San Francisco Monastery, officially still in use, but open to the public as a museum.

Here, too, is where you will find the Santa Ana Railroad Station that will take you through the Sacred Valley towards Machu Picchu.


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