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City of Cuzco

City of Cuzco

Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production. When the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they preserved the basic structure but built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city.

Ville de Cuzco

Située dans les Andes péruviennes, la ville est devenue, sous le grand chef inca Pachacutec, un centre urbain complexe avec des fonctions administratives et religieuses distinctes. Elle était entourée de zones clairement délimitées pour la production agricole, artisanale et industrielle. Au XVIe siècle, quand les Espagnols l'ont conquise, ils ont conservé sa structure mais ont construit des églises et des palais baroques sur les ruines de la cité inca.

مدينة كوزكو

تقع هذه المدينة في جبال الأنديز في البيرو، وقد أصبحت، في ظلّ حكم قائد الإنكا، باشاكوتك، مركزًا مُدنيًّا معقّدًا من حيث الوظائف الادارية والدينية المختلفة. وكانت مُحاطة بمناطق محددة بدقة للانتاج الزراعي والحرفي والصناعي. في القرن السادس عشر، حين احتلّها الاسبان، حافظوا على بنيتها وانّما بنوا كنائسَ وقصورًا باروكية على أنقاض مدينة الإنكا.

source: UNESCO/ERI

科斯科古城

科斯科古城位于秘鲁的安第斯山脉,在印加统治者帕查库蒂之下发展成为一个复杂的城市中心,具有独特的宗教和行政职能。古城的四周是清晰可见的农业、手工业和工业区。当16世纪西班牙人占领这块土地时,入侵者保留了原有建筑,但同时又在这衰落的印第安城内建造了巴洛克风格的教堂和宫殿。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Город Куско

Куско, расположенный в Перуанских Андах, при правителе Инке Пачакутеке превратился в развитый городской центр с важными религиозными и административными функциями. Он был окружен четко отделенными друг от друга зонами для сельскохозяйственного, ремесленного и промышленного производства. Когда испанцы завоевали город в XVI в., они сохранили общую структуру, но построили на руинах города инков барочные церкви и дворцы.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ciudad del Cusco

Situada en el corazón de los Andes, esta ciudad se convirtió bajo el gobierno del Inca Pachacutec en un centro urbano complejo con funciones religiosas y administrativas diferenciadas. Su área circundante estaba dividida en zonas claramente delimitadas para la producción agrícola, artesanal y manufacturera. Al adueñarse de la ciudad en el siglo XVI, los conquistadores españoles conservaron su estructura, pero construyeron iglesias y palacios sobre las ruinas de los templos y monumentos de la ciudad incaica.

source: UNESCO/ERI

クスコ市街

source: NFUAJ

Cuzco (stad)

Cuzco ligt in de Peruaanse Andes. De stad ontwikkelde zich onder de Inca-heerser Pachacutec tot een complex stedelijk centrum met verschillende religieuze en administratieve functies. Het was omringd door duidelijk afgebakende gebieden voor landbouw, ambachtelijke en industriële productie. Toen de Spanjaarden de stad in de 16e eeuw veroverden, behielden ze de basisstructuur, maar bouwden barokke kerken en paleizen op de ruïnes van de Incastad. Tegenwoordig is Cuzco een mengeling van de Incahoofdstad en de koloniale stad. Van de Inca hoofdstad zijn onder andere de ruïnes van de Zonnetempel bewaard gebleven. Van de koloniale stad bleven het paleis en de prachtige barokke kerken bewaard.

Source: unesco.nl

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City of Cuzco © CRAterre
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

The City of Cuzco, at 3,400 m above sea level, is located in a fertile alluvial valley fed by several rivers in the heart of the Central Peruvian Andes of South America. Under the rule of Inca Pachacuteq (Tito Cusi Inca Yupanqui), in the 15th century, the city was redesigned and remodelled after a pre-Inca occupation process of over 3,000 years, and became the capital of the Tawantinsuyu Inca Empire, which covered much of the South American Andes between the 15th and 16th centuries AD.

The Imperial city of the Incas was developed as a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions which were perfectly defined, distributed and organized. The religious and government buildings were accompanied by the exclusive abodes for royal families, forming an unprecedented symbolic urban compound, which shows a stone construction technology with exceptional aesthetic and structural properties, such as the Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha, the Aqllahuasi, the Sunturcancha, the Kusicancha and a series of very finely finished buildings that shape the Inca compound as an indivisible unity of Inca urbanism. The noble city was clearly isolated from the clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production as well as from the surrounding neighbourhoods. The pre-Hispanic patterns and buildings that shaped the Imperial city of the Incas are visible today.

With the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, the urban structure of the Inca imperial city of Cuzco was preserved and temples, monasteries and manor houses were built over the Inca city. They were mostly of baroque style with local adaptations, which created a unique and high quality mixed configuration representing the initial juxtaposition and fusion of different periods and cultures, as well as the city’s historic continuity. The city’s remarkable syncretism is evident not only in its physical structure but also in the Viceroyalty's artistic expression. It became one of the most important centres of religious art creation and production in the continent. It is also important for its population’s customs and traditions, many of which still keep their ancestral origins. From its complex past, woven with significant events and beautiful legends, the city has retained a remarkable monumental ensemble and coherence and is today an amazing amalgam of the Inca capital and the colonial city. Of the first, it preserves impressive vestiges, especially its plan: walls of meticulously cut granite or andesite, rectilinear streets running within the walls, and the ruins of the Sun Temple. Of the colonial city, there remain the freshly whitewashed squat houses, the palace and the marvellous Baroque churches which achieved the impossible fusion of the Plateresco, Mudejar or Churrigueresco styles with that of the Inca tradition.

Criterion (iii): The City of Cuzco is a unique testimony of the ancient Inca civilization, heart of Tawantinsuyu imperial government, which exercised political, religious and administrative control over much of the South American Andes between the 15th and 16th centuries. The city represents the sum of 3,000 years of indigenous and autonomous cultural development in the Peruvian southern Andes.

Criterion (iv) : The City of Cuzco provides a unique testimony to the urban and architectural achievements of important political, economic and cultural settlements during the pre-Columbian era in South America. It is a representative and exceptional example of the confluence of two distinct cultures; Inca and Hispanic, which through the centuries produced an outstanding cultural syncretism and configured a unique urban structure and architectural form.      

Integrity

The City of Cuzco maintains the spatial organization and most buildings from the ancient Inca Empire capital and the Viceroyalty. Along its streets and squares, it shows its original urban and architectural characteristics. Despite urban growth, the sectors that make up the Inca imperial city are recognizable, including the ancient stone structures and their advanced construction technique. Such structures define and enclose streets and canchas (housing units), on which colonial and republican houses, monasteries and churches rose and kept intact all their architectural components and works of art inside them. This entire group of attributes can be found unaltered within the delimited area maintaining its structural, material and urban integrity.

One of the main factors threatening the integrity of the City of Cuzco is earthquakes. After the 1950 earthquake many culturally valuable buildings deteriorated and have not been repaired yet due to lack of funding. The lack of technical and regulatory documents on urban management generates saturation of services in the city centre disrupting its integrity and affecting its use. Several private buildings are deteriorated by overuse, overcrowding, lack of maintenance and lack of financial resources which threatens their physical integrity.

Authenticity

The authenticity of the City of Cuzco is supported by the physical evidence of its urban composition in streets and squares, original layout, urban and architectural values, use of space and the Inca and Colonial architecture. These characteristics are testimony of Cuzco’s importance as centre of the political power and of its symbiosis with colonial settlement and assembling patterns from the 15th century, which allows us to more clearly understand the city and its historic processes. The site’s originality and authenticity is also supported by 16th century documents collected by direct witnesses since the Hispanic conquest. The factors threatening the attributes of the City of Cuzco have not affected the authenticity of its basic elements. However, new tourism development is threatening the preservation and functional capacity of ancient buildings, which in some cases are altered or replaced by new buildings for tourism and trade, relocating the original dwellers to the periphery.

Protection and management requirements

The City of Cuzco is classified as cultural heritage of the nation as a Monumental Area in accordance with Supreme Resolution Nº 2900, dated 1972, which establishes its protection scope but does not specify its buffer zone. According to the same regulation, all streets in the delimited area are classed as Monumental Urban Environment and 103 historic valuable buildings are classed as Monuments. This heritage is protected by the National Constitution, and by Law Nº 28296, General Law for National Cultural Heritage, among others.

The Ministry of Culture and the Provincial Municipality of Cuzco are mainly responsible for the conservation and management of the property and perform constant urban assessments, registration, protection, supervision and control works. The Municipality of Cuzco is responsible for authorizing intervention works in the city and also participates in preservation and restoration of cultural heritage programs and projects.

After the 1950 earthquake, recovery and restoration interventions of archaeological and historic monuments began in the City of Cuzco which were continued through 1973 Projects also included technical training of specialists to improve the technical level and tools for preservation. However, the City of Cuzco has developed the cadastre and has updated inventory and the declaration of monuments. A management plan for the City of Cuzco, which is fundamental for protection, was developed in 2005 and is currently being implemented.

Long Description

Cuzco and the old villages still retain traces of land occupation from the Inca Empire to preserve, in a more global manner, an archaeological heritage, which has become susceptible to the effects of urbanization.

Situated at 3,400 m above sea level, in a fertile alluvial valley fed by several rivers in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco was developed under the Inca ruler Pachacutec into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisanal and industrial production.

In 1536, within the Spanish colonial domain from which it did not definitively emerge until after the proclamation of independence (1821) and the victory of Bolívar at Ayacucho. From its complex past, woven with significant events and beautiful legends, the city has retained a remarkable monumental ensemble and a coherence that recent changes have not compromised.

Inca mythology attributes the foundation of the city to the Inca Manco Cápac: according to tradition the golden sceptre that the Sun had given him was thrust into the fertile soil of Cuzco to designate the emplacement of the capital.

In actuality, Cuzco appears to have been a centre of only mediocre importance until the 15th century when the power of the Incas was affirmed following the battle against the Chancas invaders: its reconstruction, directed by two great Incas, Pachacutec (1438-71) and Tupac Yupanqui (1471-93) lasted 20 years and, supposedly, employed 50,000 men. The first of these rulers (to whom is also attributed the construction of Machu Picchu) wished to create an ideal city that would respond to the multiple functions of a capital: after having canalized the two principal rivers (Saphi and Tullumayo), whose flooding periodically menaced the inhabitants of the old Cuzco, he laid down the foundations of an extremely hierarchical organization in which the urban centre united administrative and religious functions, whereas the outlying areas and especially the satellite-towns situated in a cultivated zone (Cayaucachi, Claquillchaca, Picchu, Quillipata, Carmenca, Huacapunco, etc.) were units of agricultural, artisanal and industrial production. This tripartite division must have stirred the imagination of the conquistadores, as did the orthogonal layout of the streets of the Ciudad Nobiliaria, barely inflected to accommodate land erosion. The European invaders respected the plan of this rational city, so curiously close to the idea cities of the Renaissance. They limited themselves to the destruction of the principal edifices charged with political and religious symbolism, and constructed new monuments, aggressively Catholic and Spanish, on the admirable cyclopean masonry of the demolished walls of these buildings. The Huaccapayta, centre of the Inca empire, bordered by the palaces of Pachacutec, Viracocha and Huayna Capac, is the present-day Plaza de Armas; the palace of Viracocha was demolished in order to build the cathedral begun in 1560; the Acclahuasi to construct the convent of Santa Catalina; the Coricaucha, partially destroyed in order to make space for the convent of Santo Domingo de Guzman, etc.

Cuzco is today an amazing amalgam of the Inca capital and the colonial city. Of the first, it preserves impressive vestiges, especially its plan: walls of meticulously cut granite or andesite, rectilinear streets running within the walls, ruins of the Sun Temple of which the Golden Garden, once covered with sculptures of precious metals, was pillaged by the Spanish soldiers to enrich the coffers of Charles V. Of the colonial city, there remain the freshly whitewashed squat houses, the palace and the marvellous Baroque churches which achieved the impossible fusion of the Plateresco, Mudejar or Churrigueresco styles with that of the Inca tradition.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC