Our hotel, which barely registered when we arrived at late last night, is now, in bathed morning sunshine splendid. It is the Aranwa Cuzco. I am luxuriating in the classical music over the sound system, and drinking my forth coffee as I hurriedly catches up on this writing.
Styled as Aranwa Boutique Hotel it is a former monastery with lovely wide corridors festooned with antiques and paintings. There are chandeliers everywhere including a glorious monster-sized one in our room. Our bathroom is larger than our bedroom and dressed out in black marble, very louche.
The hotel was formerly the residence of an Arch Deacon who lived here when the cathedral was being built. In the various sitting rooms and corridors are so many paintings (C17, C18 and 19th) and pieces of furniture the hotel provides a map of their ‘museum’ and provide an audio guide!
MONDAY CUZCO STONES AND CROSSES
Cuzco was the flash point between the Inca and the Conquistador. The Spanish rode into the city and made short work (well, six months) of appropriating every ounce of gold and silver they could lay their hands on and thus the Inca were completely enslaved.
The Dominicans built over the Inca Sun temple, the Koricancha.
|SUN TEMPLE WITH DOMINICAN ADDITIONS|
This was one example of how Phillip of Spain and the Church of Rome established Christianity here in 1534, once and for good. Although the conquered Quechuan people put their own twist both on Christianity and its attendant art, this slight of hand most noticeable in the Cathedral.
Puca Pucara, in the hills high above Cuzco once served as a staging post (1200-1500) for Inca people travelling over the mountains and trails into the city.
And less than ten minutes down the road is KENKO an Inca holy place. This second site is smaller and comprises a collection of huge boulders from which were fashions into a cave. Here it is supposed, that with the position of the sun and moon in the right place, sacrifices and mummifications were carried out.
On the morning of our visit there was a traffic jam of tour groups. Their custodial guides shouting at one another to move on. I am happy to report that sacrifices took place that morning!
Again Cuzco is flypaper to the tourist, two million people visit the city each year.
Further back into the city is SACSAYHUAMÁN where the Inca kings build a huge temple and fortress looking out over the city.
The stones from which this place is build are the height of three people, massive and immovable even by subsequent earthquakes. Here the Inca made their last stand against the Conquistadors and lost.
|DELIGHTFUL DOORWAY CUZCO|
Down into the city again and our last stop was the Cathedral. Here is where the Spanish brought to bear every device of art and craft to the glory of God and Rome. The facade is an omelette of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque served with a local twist.