From the beginning of the Spanish conquest in the 1500s, the Catholic Church has been a central institution in Peru and today 85-90% of Peruvians are catholic.
Cusco boasts some incredible churches with both variety and beauty and they all possess constructive details worthy of appreciation. We will experience the main Churches built by the ¨Conquistadores¨ on top of most of the Inca Palaces, as a way of symbolising cultural domination of the Spaniards and the Church.
Right in the main plaza is where everything started. The Iglesia del Triunfo or The Church of Triumph was built in 1536, just 3 years after the conquistadores settled in Cusco. It was built over the Suntur Wasi, which was an Inca ceremonial building adjoining the palace of Viracocha, in a similar way to the way the Cathedral is now adjoined to the earlier Iglesia del Triunfo.
Right next to it,we have the Cathedral, which is the most important Church with its magnificent Gothic- Renaissance Architecture. It was built in 1560 and took nearly 100 years to complete. Most of its structure was built using stones that came from nearby Sacsayhuaman Temple. It has two altars and the front altar is made of Silver.
Beginning its construction 11 years later, across from the Cathedral we can find the ¨Compañia de Jesus Church¨ which was built by the Jesuits hoping to make this the most magnificent of all Cusco churches. This ambition caused a large dispute over whether to compete with the cathedral or not, and the argument was so heated that they had to have the Pope involved.
This running tour will lead you through downtown Cusco and show you some of the most impressive and important buildings of worship in the city.