Cusco, Peru – The hub of the universe

Sun god Inti looked to the earth and decided men need some organisation. He created the first Inca Manco Cápac and his sister-wife Mama Ocllo on Isla de Sol in Lake Titicaca in the 12th century. Manco received a golden rod with the order to settle down and subjugate the people where he could sink it with one blow. This should be the world’s navel, qosq’o in Quechua. Manco found this place, founded the first Inca Empire and made the city we know as Cusco today its capital. (This is the legend, at least.) Herewith it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas, but proofs suggest it was inhabited long time before the Inca.

After Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro arrived in November 1533 he knocked down the town – built by the Inca in the shape of a puma – in infinite detrimental delusion and forever destroyed its celestial beauty. But he managed to carry out his plans only partially. The famous Inca’s method of building without gaps and with meshed blocks prevented complete demolishing. Still today many houses and even churches are constructed on Inca foundations. Gold and silver was melted down and taken to mother country.

Eventually the Spaniards turned their attention to the newly founded capital Lima, and Cusco disappeared from the radar of the world’s interest – until Machu Picchu was “re-discovered” in 1911 and Cusco was catapulted from the quiet one-horse town to the crucial point of Peruvian tourism.

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