Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plaza de Armas - Cusco, Peru

A photograph of a Jesuit Church named Iglesia de la Compania in Cusco, Peru
Iglesia de la Compania - Cusco, Peru

Plaza de Armas is the central square in Cusco, the old Inca capital in Peru. It's a hub of activity throughout the day with both tourists and locals wandering through the plaza or sitting on the benches to relax. The two most prominent buildings around the square are the cathedral, which sits on the northeastern side of the square and the old Jesuit church, named Iglesia de la Compania, on the southwestern side.

More photographs inside.
A panoramic photograph of the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru
Plaza de Armas - Cusco, Peru

The plaza was called Huacaypata by the Incas when it was constructed. The city of Cusco is laid out in the shape of a Puma (the Inca considered the Puma to be sacred) and the plaza is located where the Puma's heart should be. The Plaza was renamed to Plaza de Armas after the Spanish, led by Francisco Pizarro, took over the city in 1533.

Inca Pachacutec - Cusco, Peru

At the top of the fountain in the middle of the plaza is a statue of Inca Pachacutec. Pachacutec ruled the Inca's from Cusco and was responsible for expanding the modest Inca kingdom into an empire. He started an era of conquest which saw the Inca empire expand to cover most of western South America. It is believed that the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu was designed by him and build for him. The name Pachacutec translates to "he who shakes the earth"in Quechua.

A photograph of some locals at the Plaza taken in Cusco, Peru
Locals at the Plaza - Cusco, Peru

Apart from the churches, the area around the plaza is full of restaurants and cafes. Most of the restaurants have a balcony from where patrons can watch festivals and other processions going on in the plaza below. During our short stay, we saw a rally and a huge festival taking place.

A photograph of a Jesuit Church named Iglesia de la Compania in Cusco, Peru
Iglesia de la Compania - Cusco, Peru

All the photographs on this post were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and the 24-105mm lens. I used a tripod only for the panorama as it is made up of about 8 images. The tripod was not necessary but it does make the stitching process a bit easier.









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