Plaza De Armas
Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas Plaza De Armas
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"UNESCO World Heritage The city of Cuzco's impressive Baroque cathedral stands imposingly on the Plaza de Armas, built over the foundations of what was an important Inca palace, the Palace of Viracocha. This structure was actually the second cathedral to be built in the city; the first was smaller and built very early in the Spanish occupation, in 1536. A couple of decades later, work was begun on the grand new cathedral. The first stone was laid down in 1559, but thanks to erratic funding and a devastating earthquake it took more than 100 years for the new cathedral building to be finished, in 1669. The most talented colonial artists were employed to work on the new cathedral and substantial numbers of indigenous people were temporarily hired as laborers. The original cathedral-on the Inca sacred site- was relegated to the status of a humble church, La Iglesia del Triunfo; it is, however, attached to the newer cathedral and is the oldest church in the city. Cuzco Cathedral is filled with magnificent regal examples of colonial art, many of which were by members of the renowned local Cuzco School, as well as a portrait of Jesus attributed to Anthony van Dyck. The earliest surviving portrait of the city of Cuzco is also in the church; it shows the city in the 1650 earthquake. There are beautiful examples of stone masonry and skilled metalwork on display, including a solid silver altar. Probably the most famous of all the cathedral's possessions is a painting of the Last Supper, created specially for the cathedral by Marcos Zapata (Cuzco School). It demonstrates how eager the conquistadors were to draw Peruvians into the Catholic religion. The dish placed in front of Christ is not typically associated with Jesus, or the cuisine of the Middle East; instead, Jesus and his disciples are about to feast on cuy, the small, skinny carcass of a guinea pig- a Peruvian specialty."


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