Plaza de Armas, Cusco

The Plaza de Armas (Main Square)

 

The Plaza de Armas (main square) was the centre of Inca Cusco and, still today, remains at the heart of modern Cusco. During Inca times the Plaza was known as Huacaypata (the Place of Tears or the Weeping Square) and was a place of ceremonies and military parades. It has been said that when the Inca's conquered new lands they would bring back some of the soil to be mixed with the soil of Huacaypata, as a symbolic gesture to incorporate the newly gained territories into the Inca empire.

 

The Plaza was once flanked with Inca palaces. The remains of the ancient walls of Inca Pachacutec's palace can still be seen on the north-west side of the square (inside the Roma Restaurant close to the corner of the Plaza and Calle Plateros.

 

The northern and western sides of the Plaza are now lined by arcades with shops and travel agencies. There are many restaurants, bars and coffee shops with beautifully carved wooden balconies overlooking the Plaza - a great place to relax and enjoy the view.

 

The Plaza's north-eastern edge is dominated by the Cathedral which is flanked on the right-hand side by the El Triunfo church.

On the south-east side is the smaller but more ornate church of La Compania de Jesus with its impressive pair of belfries.

Cusco Plaza de Armas

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