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Cusco — Plaza de Armas Link to Cusco Index

The center of Cusco is this beautful plaza, ringed all around with impressive churches, tempting craft shops, and restaurants staffed by enthusiastic sidewalk salespeople trying to entice you to their balcony dining rooms.

Aerial view of Plaza

To give you an overview of the Plaza, at the left is a shot of it taken from the hillside of Sacsayhuamán...

...while the one on the right is a closer view.


The most imposing buildings on the square are the Cathedral and La Compañía de Jésus, two churches which date from the 1500's. (The church you can see the most clearly in the hillside view is La Compañía; the Cathedral is on the left in the other photo.) We didn't find the time to go on inside tours of these buildings, but their exteriors, framed by the lovely square and the blue mountain sky, inspired Henry to take many photographs.


Plaza de Armas

Here are two shots of the Cathedral. The familiar-looking trio clustered around the streetlight in the photo at the right are Kathy, Joan and Debby.

Cathedral Cathedral with tourists

We had a little trouble getting oriented on our first walk up to the Plaza. I think it was trying to sort out all the churches ...

getting our bearings

In the center below is another view of the Cathedral, flanked by close-ups of the side chapel and its sculpture...

Cathedral side Cathedral Cathedral sculpture

Moving over now to La Compañía, it certainly was lovely with all those flowers in the foreground...

Compania Compania Compania


A helpful fellow tourist having lunch in the Inka Grill (squash ravioli...hmmm!) tried to take our picture, but succeeded at first only in getting a nice shot of La Compañía through the arches outside the restaurant...

Compania from Inka Grill

Compania at night

And here is La Compañía at night.



Here was his more successful shot of the four of us, although Debby is mostly hidden:

Inka Grill table

This final shot of the Cathedral may not look like it contains a political message, but it does! The flag flying from the pole on the left is the rainbow flag of Cusco, which represents the reverence in which the Inkas held the rainbow symbol. You see it flying at least as often in Cusco as the Peruvian flag, which is on the pole at the right.

Cathedral with flags

In the middle of the Plaza is a lovely fountain, which is not just for show but, apparently, for parents to help their kids wash up....?

Plaza fountain Fountain with family

This casual group shot of Debby, Joan and Kathy can give you an idea of how sides of the Plaza lined with shops appear ...

tourists in the Plaza

And here are two final views of this delightful urban space, by day and by night... (I think the whitewashed building in the corner in the left photo is La Papillon Restaurant, where we had our first of many scrumptious meals in Cusco.)

Plaza de Armas corner Plaza de Armas at night

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All photos, unless otherwise credited, are © by Henry J. Amen III. Please do not use without permission.