Cusco

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Coordinates: 13°31′30″S 71°58′20″W / 13.525°S 71.97222°W / -13.525; -71.97222

Cuzco
Cuzco, Qusqu
Top: Plaza de Armas, Middle left: Temple of Coricancha, Middle right: Aerial view of Cusco, Bottom left: Sacsayhuamán, Bottom right: Cathedral of Cusco
Top: Plaza de Armas, Middle left: Temple of Coricancha, Middle right: Aerial view of Cusco, Bottom left: Sacsayhuamán, Bottom right: Cathedral of Cusco
Flag of Cuzco
Flag
Nickname(s): La Ciudad Imperial (The Imperial City)
Districts of Cusco
Districts of Cusco
Coordinates: 13°31′30″S 71°58′20″W / 13.525°S 71.97222°W / -13.525; -71.97222
Country Peru
Region Cusco
Province Cusco
Founded 1100 A.D. 1st
Government
 - Type Democracy
 - Mayor Marina Sequeiros Montesinos
Area
 - Total 70,015.3 km2 (27,033 sq mi)
Elevation 3,310 m (10,860 ft)
Population 2007
 - Total 348,935
Time zone PET (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) PET (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 84
Website www.municusco.gob.pe

Cusco (also spelled Cuzco, and in the local Quechua language as Qusqu IPA[ˈqos.qo]) is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The city has a population of 348,935 which is triple the figure of 20 years ago. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cusco, its altitude is around 3,300 m (10,800 ft). Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost a million visitors a year. It is designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by the Constitution of Peru. [1]

Contents

Spelling and etymology

Upon the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the Quechua name ("Qosqo") was transliterated into Spanish as "Cusco", which is how it appears on maps from the 17th and 18th centuries.[2][3] On maps from the 19th century (as early as 1810[4][5]) and through the mid-20th century (until at least 1976), the name appears as "Cuzco". Today, in official Peruvian cartography (in Spanish) the name has returned to the original transliteration: Cusco, with an S rather than a Z[citation needed].

In English, both S [1] [2] and Z [3] [4] are accepted, as there is no "official" spelling.[6] Both British and American variants use S or Z. The Encyclopaedia Britannica writes "Cuzco".

The name Cusco is derived from the Quechua phrase "qusqu wanka" which means "rock of the owl".

History

Killke culture

The Killke occupied the region from 900 to 1200 A.D., prior to the arrival of the Incas in the 1200s. Archaeologists discovered, on March 13, 2008, the ruins of an ancient temple, roadway and irrigation systems at Sacsayhuaman, a famed fortress overlooking the Inca capital of Cuzco. Previous carbon-14 dating of Sacsayhuaman revealed that the Killke culture constructed the fortress in the 1100s.[7] In 2007, excavations uncovered another temple on the edge of the fortress, indicating religious as well as military use of the facility.[8]

Inca history

Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire (1200s-1532). Many believe that the city was planned to be shaped like a puma. The city had two sectors: the urin and hanan, which were further divided to each encompass two of the four provinces, Chinchasuyu (NW), Antisuyu (NE), Qontisuyu (SW) and Collasuyu (SE). A road led from each of these quarters to the corresponding quarter of the empire. Each local leader was required to build a house in the city and live part of the year in Cusco, but only in the quarter of Cusco that corresponded to the quarter of the empire in which he had territory. After Pachacuti, when an Inca died his title went to one son and his property was given to a corporation controlled by his other relatives (a process called split inheritance), so each title holder had to build a new house and add new lands to the empire, in order to own the land his family needed to maintain after his death.

According to Inca legend, the city was built by Sapa Inca Pachacuti, the man who transformed the Kingdom of Cusco from a sleepy city-state into the vast empire of Tahuantinsuyu. But archaeological evidence points to a slower, more organic growth of the city beginning before Pachacuti. There was however a city plan, and two rivers were channeled around the city. Archaeologists such as Larry Coben have suggested this city plan was replicated at other sites throughout the empire.

The city fell to the sphere of Huáscar in the division of the empire after the death of Huayna Capac in 1527. It was captured by the generals of Atahualpa in April 1532 in the Battle of Quipaipan, and nineteen months later by the Spaniards (see battle of Cuzco).

Post-Columbian Cusco

We can assure your majesty that it is so beautiful and has such fine buildings that it would even be remarkable in Spain.

Francisco Pizarro


The first Spaniards arrived in the city on November 15, 1533. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro officially discovered Cusco on March 23, 1534, naming it the "Very noble and great city of Cusco". The many buildings constructed after the Spanish conquest are of Spanish influence with a mix of Inca architecture, including the Santa Clara and San Blas barrios. The Spanish undertook the construction of a new city on the foundations of the old Inca city, replacing temples with churches and palaces with mansions for the conquerors. During the colony, Cusco was very prosperous thanks to the agriculture, cattle raising, mining as well as the trade with Spain. This allowed the construction of many churches and convents, and even a cathedral, university and Archbishopric. Often, Spanish buildings were juxtaposed atop the massive stone walls built by the Inca.

A major earthquake in 1950 badly destroyed the Dominican Priory and Church of Santo Domingo, which were built on top of the impressive Coricancha (Temple of the Sun). The city's Inca architecture, however, withstood the earthquake. Many of the old Inca walls were thought to have been lost after the earthquake, but the granite walls of the Coricancha were exposed, as well as many walls throughout the city. While some wanted to restore the buildings to their colonial splendor, a contingent of Cusco citizens urged city officials to retain the exposed walls. Eventually they won out. Cusco was also hit by a major earthquake in 1650.

Republican era

Peru declared its independence in 1821 and the city of Cusco maintained its importance within the administrative structure of the of the country. Upon independence, the Department of Cusco was created and at the time maintained authority over territory extending to the Brazilian border. The city of Cusco was made capital of the department and subsequently became the most important city in the south-eastern Andean region.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the city's urban sprawl spread to the neighboring districts of Santiago and Wanchaq.

In 1911, explorer Hiram Bingham departed from the city, subsequently re-discovering the ruins of Machu Picchu.

Honors

Present

In 1950 an earthquake shook the city causing the destruction of more than a third of the city's constructions. Later, the city began to establish itself as a focal point for tourism and began to receive a greater number of tourists.

Since the 1990's, tourism began to take a dominant role in the city's economy and the hotel sector subsequently expanded. Currently, Cusco is the most important tourist destination in Peru. The city's urban sprawl is still expanding and currently it has extended into the San Sebastian and San Jerónimo districts.

Under the administration of mayor Daniel Estrada Pérez, a staunch supporter of the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, between 1983 and 1995 the Quechua name Qosqo was officialized.

Geography

The city of Cusco extends throughout the Huatanay river valley. Its climate is generally dry and temperate. It has two defined seasons: the dry season lasts from April to October and sunshine is abundant with an average temperature of 13° celsius. The wet season lasts from November to March with an average temperature of 12°.

Sights

A panorama of Cusco

The original Inca city, said to have been founded in the 11th century, was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There are still remains, however, of the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. There are still Inca building remains and foundations, which in some cases have proved to be stronger than the foundations built in present-day Peru. Among the most noteworthy buildings of the city is the cathedral of Santo Domingo.

The major nearby Inca sites are Pachacuti's presumed winter home, Machu Picchu, which can be reached on foot by a Inca trail or by train; the "fortress" at Ollantaytambo; and the "fortress" of Sacsayhuaman.

Other less-visited ruins include: Inca Wasi, the highest of all Inca sites at 3,980 m (13,134 ft); Old Vilcabamba the capital of the Inca after the capture of Cusco; the sculpture garden at Chulquipalta (aka Chuquipalta, Ñusta España, The White Rock, Yurak Rumi); as well as Huillca Raccay, Patallacta, Choquequirao, Moray and many others.

The surrounding area, located in the Huatanay Valley, is strong in agriculture, including corn, barley, quinoa, tea and coffee and gold mining.

Thanks to remodelling, Cusco's main stadium, Estadio Garcilaso de la Vega, attracted many more tourists during South America's continental soccer championship, the Copa América 2004 held in Peru. The stadium is home to one of the country's most successful soccer clubs, Cienciano. Cusco's local team has made a name for itself in the world of club soccer, as it has won several international competitions in South America, although it has yet to achieve such success in its home country.

The city is served by Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport.

The Plaza de Armas of Cusco

Climate

Cusco was found in 2006 to be the spot on Earth with the highest ultraviolet light level.[10]

Climate chart for Cusco
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
163
 
20
7
 
 
150
 
21
7
 
 
109
 
21
7
 
 
51
 
22
4
 
 
15
 
21
2
 
 
5
 
21
1
 
 
5
 
21
-1
 
 
10
 
21
1
 
 
25
 
22
4
 
 
66
 
22
6
 
 
76
 
23
6
 
 
137
 
22
7
average temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: BBC Weather

Food

As headquarters to the Inca Empire, Cusco was an important agricultural region and a natural reserve for thousands of native Peruvian species, including hundreds of potato varieties.[citation needed]

More recently, Cusco has begun to offer many fusion and neo-Andean restaurants in which the cuisine, prepared with modern techniques and incorporating a blend of traditional Andean and international ingredients.[11]

Industry

Sister cities


In modern culture

In the children's movie The Emperor's New Groove and its spin-off animated television series The Emperor's New School, the main protagonist's name "Kuzco" is a reference to the city of Cusco. Kuzco is the young, often churlish fictional emperor of the Incas.

"Cuzco" was also the name of a song on E.S. Posthumus' 2001 album Unearthed. Each song on the album was named after an ancient city.

References

See also

External links

ar:قوسقو

ay:Qusqu bg:Куско ca:Cusco cs:Cuzco da:Cusco de:Cusco el:Κούζκο es:Cuzco eo:Kusko eu:Cusco fa:کوسکو fr:Cuzco ga:Cusco ko:쿠스코 hr:Cusco id:Cusco it:Cuzco he:קוסקו la:Cuscum lt:Kuskas lij:Cusco hu:Cuzco ms:Cusco nah:Cuzco nl:Cuzco (stad) ja:クスコ no:Cuzco nn:Cuzco oc:Cusco pl:Cuzco pt:Cusco ro:Cuzco qu:Qusqu ru:Куско simple:Cusco sk:Cusco (mesto) sl:Cusco sr:Куско fi:Cusco sv:Cusco ta:கோசுக்கோ th:กุสโก tr:Cusco uk:Куско vo:Cusco war:Cusco zh:庫斯科

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