Cusco (also spelled Cuzco, and in the Quechua language as Qusqu IPA: [‘qos.qo]) is a city in southeastern Peru near the Sacred Valley in the Andes mountain range, southeast of the Incan city of Machu Picchu. Cusco was the capital of the extensive Inca Empire, favorite destination for tourists seeking to explore Inca relics.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere. It has a complex history, woven with significant events and legends. An urban center created by the Incas, with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was preserved by the conquering Spaniards, who built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the ancient city. Much of its highly crafted early stone architecture is preserved in the foundations and lower stories of Spanish colonial structures.
CUSCO CIVILIZATION INCA
The Inca Civilization incorporated, and in many cases perfected, many of the cultural techniques of the civilizations that preceded it. There are many examples of original Inca architecture and engineering that have outlasted later Spanish colonial structures. The rich Inca heritage can still be observed throughout Cusco and in the extensive stone roads that united the city with the four cardinal points of the Inca Empire.
Cusco, the major cultural and population center of the Inca civilization. Recognized as an historical treasure, the entire city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The living record that is Cusco serves as a reminder of an ancient civilization that displayed remarkable technical achievements in harmony with the natural environment.
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