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Cusco Cathedral

An imposing building constructed with stones from an Inca fortress is celebrated for its beautiful architecture and artwork that spans three centuries.

Standing over Cusco’s main square is Cusco Cathedral, an impressive Gothic-Renaissance structure built on the site of an Inca palace. Explore the interior, filled with more than 400 canvases, woodcarvings and a silver altar.

Construction on the cathedral started in 1559 and was completed almost 100 years later. Many of the stones were taken from the nearby fortress of Sacsayhuaman. On your way inside, note the carved figure of a puma head on the main doors, which was erected by the Inca workforce during the cathedral’s construction. In Inca mythology, the puma represents the physical world. 

Admire the numerous artworks, many of which are from the Cusqueña school of painting. This was a Cusco-based Roman Catholic artistic tradition from the 16th to 18th centuries.  Don’t miss the painting depicting Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper eating roasted guinea pig and tropical fruit. 

Pay a visit to the Lord of the Earthquakes. This icon of Jesus was paraded through the streets by terrified residents during the devastating earthquake of 1650. Many people claimed the carved religious figure stopped the seismic activity. Every Easter Monday, you can watch the statue as it is carried in a procession through the city.

Marvel at the main altar, which is made of solid silver. Appreciate the craftsmanship of the cedar wood choir with its carved figures of bishops, popes and saints. Visit the cathedral’s sacristy where the walls are covered with paintings of Cusco’s bishops. Head to one of the towers to see the 7-foot (2-meter) María Angola bell, the largest bell in South America.

Cusco Cathedral is open daily. Situated on Cusco’s main public square, Plaza de Armas, the cathedral is easily accessible on foot and by bus from many parts of the city. After your tour of the cathedral, visit the two other churches on the square. The Church of the Society of Jesus contains canvases and silver artwork. The Church of Triumph hosts the ashes of Garcilaso de la Vega, a prominent Spanish writer.


Guide to Exploring Cusco Cathedral


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 408 Hotels near Cusco Cathedral
£113
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Esquina De La Calle Ruinas 432, Cusco
4.8
of 5, from 587 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this luxury hotel is steps away from Museum of Religious Art, UNSAAC Yale International Center and Hatunrumiyoc. Santa Catalina Convent and Kusicancha are also within 5 minutes.

£74
Antigua Casona San Blas

Antigua Casona San Blas

Calle Carmen Bajo 243, Cusco
4.9
of 5, from 137 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of San Blas Church, Hatunrumiyoc and Museum of Religious Art. UNSAAC Yale International Center and Kusicancha are also within 10 minutes.

£64
Sonesta Hotel Cusco

Sonesta Hotel Cusco

Ave. El Sol 954, Cusco
4.6
of 5, from 565 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cusco Craft Center and Centro de Textiles. Qorikancha and Garcilaso de la Vega Stadium are also within 15 minutes.

£70
Novotel Cusco

Novotel Cusco

San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco
4.5
of 5, from 383 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is steps away from Museum of Religious Art, UNSAAC Yale International Center and Hatunrumiyoc. Kusicancha and Santa Catalina Convent are also within 5 minutes.

£58
Esplendor Hotel Cusco

Esplendor Hotel Cusco

Calle Union 189, Cusco
4.5
of 5, from 155 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this boutique hotel is steps away from Cusco San Pedro Market and San Pedro Church. La Merced Church and Museum of Contemporary Art are also within 10 minutes.

£67
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

Santa Ana, Avenida Abancay 207, Cusco
4.6
of 5, from 303 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Pedro Church, Cusco San Pedro Market and Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales. Museum of Contemporary Art and ChocoMuseum are also within 10 minutes.

£54
Tambo del Arriero Hotel Boutique

Tambo del Arriero Hotel Boutique

Calle Nueva Alta 484, Cusco
4.5
of 5, from 235 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cusco San Pedro Market, Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Museum of Contemporary Art. San Pedro Church and ChocoMuseum are also within 10 minutes.

£57
Andean Wings Boutique Hotel

Andean Wings Boutique Hotel

Siete Cuartones #225, Cusco
4.3
of 5, from 134 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this romantic hotel is steps away from Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Museum of Contemporary Art. ChocoMuseum and Plaza de Armas are also within 5 minutes.