12 interesting facts about Cusco
The ancient city of Cusco is attractive for tourists who are not afraid of the Peruvian jungle and potential robberies. There are priceless monuments of the Inca Empire nearby, thanks to which the city became so popular. Although most tourists start their journey in the capital city of Lima, most of them end up coming here.
Top amazing facts about Cusco
- Native settlements existed on these lands more than 3000 years ago, long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.
- Like Peru’s capital, Lima, Cuzco was founded by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
- According to ancient legends, the first city on this place was founded by Manco Capac, the first Inca, who laid the foundations of the civilization of his people.
- Cuzco is the second most populous city in Peru, second only to Lima.
- The city was called “Cusco” in the time of the Incas. Translated from their language, Quechua, the word means “center of the earth”. The Spaniards kept the old name when they settled here.
- Most of the churches located here are built on the site of demolished Inca temples.
- Under the Incas, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Cusco.
- There’s a statue of Christ here, and it’s very similar to the famous one in Rio de Janeiro. Although the local statue is a bit smaller.
- Due to the lack of suitable agricultural land in the vicinity of the city, local farmers in Cusco build terraces to increase the usable area. They build them the old-fashioned way, by hand.
- One of the sister cities of Cusco is Moscow, the capital of Russia.
- Most of the foreigners arriving here tend to get to Machu Picchu, the ancient city of the Incas. It’s not far from here.
- It’s usually cold in the mountains surrounding Cusco, so it is worth buying a thick poncho. Once a temperature of only + 5.7 °С (+42.2 °F) was recorded here!