The majestic cathedral of Cusco is located in Acaypata Square built on the Quiswarqancha or palace of Wiraqocha with extracted stones of the fortess of Sacsayhuamán.
It is believed that the church began to be built the year of 1,560 and ended later a hundred years. Its interior, restored in the year 2,000, is Baroque and Renaissance; there they can be appreciated near 400 impressive colonial paintings, most of them belonging to the “Escuela Cusqueña”.
It conserves the paintings of the artist from Cusco: Diego Quispe Tito, Basilio Santa Cruz, Antonio Sinchi Roca and Marcos Zapata. There are also very valuable samples of goldwork and of beautiful altarpieces.
In this temple the image of popular veneration is El Seór de los Temblores who comes out in walk during the sacred week, every Monday (lunes santo) congregating to seas of faithful people that fill completely the Aucaypata square.
The main altar is made of a single body and it is covered for silver sheets with its Doric columns. In the Tower of the Gospel, one of the largest church in the world, the famous bell María Angola, fused in gold and brass and whose tolling are listened until a distance of 40 Km.
The Cathedral possesses a beautiful custody that is taken out it is procession for the festivity of the Corpus Christi, this custody is hand made of solid gold and it weighs 26,667 kilos and it measures 1 meter 20 of high; the value of this custody is incalculable, it has incrusted 331 pearls, 263 diamonds, 221 emeralds, 89 amethysts, 62 rubies, 43 topazes, 17 brilliant 5 sapphires and 1 agate.
The cathedral is surrounded of two chapels: the Chapel of El Triunfo, eriged on the old palace of Wiracocha or Quishuarcancha, and the chapel of Suntur Wasi, old house of emblems and weapons.
Aside of the Main Square and on the Amaruqancha or palace of Huayna Cápac this temple began to build in 1,571. it is one of the best examples in the viceregal religious architecture.
Their facade of three bodies, inspired by the cover of the cathedral, they form a finished off solid group with windows of "ox Eyes."
The temple has cross form. It is of a single ship seated on arches with six lateral chapels that cover carved wooden altars and golden; the surrounded underground chapels of secret labyrinths are under the vault where the remains of illustrious historical rest.
La Compañía de Jesús keeps valuable paintings of the School Cusqueña and sculptures of the time. In their sides they are the beautiful chapel of Lourdes and the oratory of San Ignacio of Loyola. At the moment part of the temple is occupied by the University San Antonio Abad, University Paraninfum and the Hall of justice.
Over the walls base of the famous Incan temple of Intiqancha or Qoriqancha is located Santo Domingo's beautiful convent, convent that stone was built it has more than enough stone about the most important Inca temple dedicated to the cult of the Sun. According to the Spanish columnists this construction had great part of their compartments recovered with sheets of gold, in fact the origin of its name indicates it: qori: gold; qancha: place. The Qoriqancha possesses underground galleries that continue being a mystery for the archaeologists, it is said that in the basements they would be buried the bodies of the Inkas Diego Sairi Túpac and Felipe Túpac Amaru as well as of the conquering Juan Pizarro. Also preserve valuable paintings of the School Cusqueña; in a cell of the convent, the father Diego of Ojeda wrote the celebrated book "The Cristiada" and in the library the copy of the historical drama is conserved, the drama:"Ollantay."
It is located in the little square that takes the same name, among the two fronts it arises toward the high of the steeple, worked in stone, with faces of embedded columns and eight bells. The church of La Merced dates of the XVI century. Their altars decorations are richly.
Their custody is considered the most artistic and beautiful in the country and the second more big of the world. This custody weighs 22 kilos, it measures 1,3 meters of high and it has incrusted 1,805 diamonds and 615 precious stones like rubies, topazes and emeralds.
This marvel in goldwork is the most beautiful and artistic known in the city, it was worked in Cusco by the goldsmith Manuel Stone, It has a meter 30 of high and it weighs 22,200 kilos. It was carried out in the base of the previous one that the Spanish goldsmith built Luis Ayala Olmos.
The paintings of the temple and of the convent they form a collection of great value; the canvases of San Pedro of Nolasco are somewhere around and many others of great religious value. The convent is very well-known for its beautiful adorned Baroque cloisters and viceregal paintings.
In the basements of the churches stay the remains of the conquering Diego de Almagro el Grande, Diego de almagro, el mozoand Gonzalo Pizarro, the three beheaded in the main square of Cusco.
Santa Catalina's church is located among the streets Santa Catalina and Loreto, it rises on the vestiges of another sacred place of the Inca: the Acllahuasi or Temple of the Virgins of the Sun that it harbored three thousand women and youths chosen by their beauty and their lineage. The church was ordered to build, in Renaissance style, in 1,605 for Jerónimo de Pacheco and Lucía de Padilla. Many painters that have stood out in the XVII century have left a legacy of first quality.
They are exhibited works of Francisco Albani "The offering to the virgin", of Juan Espinoza de los Monteros "the apotheosis and the foundation" and of Lorenzo Sánchez "the virgin's assumption."
San Blas' church is the oldest parish in Cusco, it dates of 1563, it was founded by the Pole de Ondegardo and the bishop Juan de Solano.
To speak about San Blas is to refer to their pulpit that according to many experts constitutes the finest carved wooden piece in the world, because of a cedar trunk only emerges, like for magic art, angels, demons, saints, virgins and chimeras.
It is believed that the author of this impressive art work was the indigenous artist Juan Tomás Tuyritupa, although they are continued managing other names of other artists that could be the agents of this Art work.
It has a facade of Baroque style, three building bodies and two towers. The parish was founded in 1550 first floor the bishop's protection Manuel Mollinedo y Angulo. It was the first convent of mestizo women.
The Virgin's crown of the Parish of invaluable value, are a garnished work of perfect finish of gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, topazes and other precious stones. The custody is also another jewel artistic.
Santa Ana's church is located in the neighborhood of the same name, in the high of the hill called Carmenca, is preferable to take a taxi to get there, because this place is relatively far from the same center of the city. The church was founded in 1560, in fact, is one of the entrance points to the Cusco, The Church is of very simple characteristics , because it is a smaller church, the church it has very little decoration, because it is a smaller church that counts with very little decoration. Sacred Ana harbored artistic jewels as well as several images carved by Juan Tomás Tuiru Túpac. A special pilgrimage exists toward the image of Christ loading its cross that is in a brief colored niche on the adobe, to who is known as the Señor del Cabildo.
To visit San Cristóbal we recommend to walk, because the location is very near the Plaza de Armas (main square) and you can take the street Saphy or it is possible to go by Suecia Street. The church is on the Colcampata mountain, it was conceived by initiative of Cristóbal Paullo, member of the Inca nobility and owner of the lands of Colcampata. The first church dates of 1560. The later construction is of the XVII century and it was favored by the bishop Mollinedo whose shield is on the lintel from the entrance door to the steeple.
San Cristóbal's image, is the most important image in the church and it attributes to the indigenous professor Melchor Guamán Maita, author of San Sebastian's fabulous carved that is in the church of the same name. This San Cristóbal travels streets and squares during the procession of the Corpus Christi.