This structure would be one of the highlight sights of Cusco even if it hadn't been the spiritual center of the town when the Inka empire made its capital there. The Spanish colonial rulers later built a convent, Santo Domingo, on the foundation of the Inka temple, fortunately not destroying the older structure entirely. The result is a lovely building, and a source of powerful images showing the melding of the two cultures.
On the left below is a panoramic shot showing both Inka foundation (the long brown walls in front) and colonial additions, while on the right more modern structures are added to the multi-era scene.
It's difficult not to get carried away by the beauty of Inka walls. Below is a shot showing some of the rougher sections of the Coricancha wall, presumeably built earlier than the smooth-fitting stonework further along:
Here are two closer views of the later stonework. Who would have thought a wall could be beautiful?!
The most amazing section of wall is of course the rounded one shown below (which is similar to one found at Machu Picchu):
More photos of amazing walls:
You can see the impressive colonial tower peeking over Santa Domingo in the picture above on the right. Here are some closer views of this structure:
In addition to wall-buidling, the Inkas excelled at hydro-engineering and channeling water:
They know how to show off this jewel in Cusco, lighting it up for prime viewing in the evening:
On one of his early morning exploratory jaunts (while the sensible members of our party were sleeping in) Henry happened upon a rehearsal at Coricancha. A bunch of kids were practicing a native dance, possibly for the big festival that comes up at the winter solstice (which unfortunately we missed) although it could have been for one of the many other festivals that Cusco hosts. This rehearsal was important enough to draw news coverage, as you can see from this photo:
He got quite a few wonderful pictures of the kids hard at work, but obviously enjoying what they were doing, as well as the lovely panoramic shot at the right below::
He reported that it was quite cold and the girls, especially, were complaining about cold feet. But you have to suffer for your art! When they were finished, they amazingly all climbed back into this small pick-up, including their instruments!
Henry went a little nuts here and took MANY more photos. Click here if you want to see the ones not included on this page. He also experimented with the video feature of his new camera and took this video clip (the clip only runs for 50 seconds but it may take longer than that to load).
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All photos, unless otherwise credited, are © by Henry J. Amen III. Please do not use without permission.