THE MAGNIFICENT CATHEDRAL OF CUSCO

March 28, 2016
La Catedral del Cusco

When I sink into the sea of ​​history, I rediscovered all memories of Cusco. A great story that I have to tell, how the Cathedral of Cusco was build?

It all started back in 1532 with the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca Empire, with plagues and bloody struggles began a hodgepodge of cultures, where the strongest was the one which dominated. This whole episode ended with the partial decimation of the Inca conquest, some other prisoners and slaves, missing Andean religious philosophies and new routes emerged.

Already in 1539, Cusco dominated, Inca and Spanish cultures intertwined in a mixture of churches, forts and homes that were emerging throughout the territory of Puma. It emerged in the area of ​​Sunturwasi which was a sacred vault of Cusco, the “Temple of Triumph” with the image of Our Lady of the Assumption in a preferential place. Juan Miguel de Veramendi was the one who was entrusted the task of making the plans for this great construction, with andesite stones and a base of a Greek cross which began to lift the church. The whole temple with a Renaissance style, in the famous three ships: the epistle, the gospel and the nave, more in the background the Altar, sui generis, made entirely of andesite and covered in a thin layer of plaster, in this altar is venerated the Virgin of Descent.

Right in the heart of the Diocese of Cusco, next to the Temple of Triumph, it began to lift the lower Basilica, recognized so on 8 February 1928. The construction command of a host of architects like Veramendi later by John Correa and already in 1615 by Miguel Gutiérrez Sencio, the latter was the one who ended the church in 1649. With red stones, andesite, diorite and basalt brought from various places like Sacsayhuaman, Rumicoto and Huacoto. Inside, we find five ships. The Lord of the Earthquakes is the highest deity of this church, which is made of leather and vicuna Andean camelid, which gives that particular colour, mixed with plaster giving a perfect consistency. We also find cruciform pillars that adorn the premises.

The last to be built was the Temple of the Holy Family, where in 1723 he commissioned the Bishop Gabriel de Arregui to monitor the uprising. The temple construction was completed in 1735. Within a ship in Latin cross and the whole construction of late Renaissance style. But the most striking are the three bells, whose deep empampan of beautiful sounds ringing the walls of the “Temple of the Sacred Family”. The Virgin “Queen of Heaven” is the hostess at this place.

The temples of The Basilica Menor, El Triunfo and La Sagrada Familia together make the Cathedral of Cusco with an area of ​​3,956 m². A whole mix of Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Plateresque styles outlined this magnificent building.

HISTORY OF THE CUSCO’S CATHEDRAL

(Main Entrance, entrance 25 soles or religious ticket, time: 10.00 a.m -05:45 p.m) built over the palace of Inca Viracocha, stolen stone blocks nearby site of Sacsayhuaman were used. They started in 1559, took almost a century to erect. To his right is joined by the Church of Triumph (1536) and on the left the church of Jesus Mary stands (1733).

The triumph, the oldest church of Cusco, houses a vault with remains of the famous chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega, who was born in Cusco in 1539 and died in Cordoba (Spain), in 1616. King Juan Carlos I, he returned the rest of the city in 1978.

The cathedral is one of the greatest exponents of colonial art of Cusco, especially works of the Cusquenian school, famous for its combination of Europeans S. XXVII and iconography of Andean indigenous artists religious painting styles. A classic example is the portrait of the Virgin Mary wearing a skirt shaped in mountain with a river that runs along the hem. Portrait that identifies with the Pachamama ( “Mother Earth”).

One of the most famous paintings of the “Cusco School” is the last supper of Quechua artist Marcos Zapata. Located in the northeast corner of the temple, it is one of the most solemn scenes of the Christian faith, but adorned with a small pittance Andean ceremonial feast; the plump roasted guinea pig, face up, captures the attention.

It is also worth seeing the oldest picture of Cusco, which shows the city during the earthquake of 1650. The Cusquenians parading around the square with crucifix, also called the Lord of the Tremors, it can still be seen in the alcove to the right of the door to Triunfo. Every year on Holy Monday and carried in procession, the faithful throw them ‘ñucchu flowers”, like drops of blood that recall wounds of the Christ. Flowers leave a sticky resin that traps the smoke of burning votive candles at the foot of the statue; so today, the Christ is black. It is said that under the skirt is an immaculate white.

The sacristy is full of pictures of the bishops of Cusco, including Vicente Valverde, the friar who accompanied Pizarro in the conquest. The Crucifixion, the bottom of the sacristy, the Flemish painter Anton Van Dyck is attributed. Although according to certain guidelines, the painting work comes from the Spaniard Alonso Cano of the seventeenth century. Original wooden altar is at the bottom of the cathedral, behind the altar of silver, and against both the magnificent carved choir, dating from the seventeenth century. There are also side chapels with gold and silver and historians, altars and platforms that contrast with the austere temple masonry.

The huge doors are opened to the faithful from 06:00 to 10:00 a.m. Religious festivals provide a unique opportunity to visit it. For example, during the feast of Corpus Christi which are filled with imposing statues of saints and thousands of candles, with bands of Andean musics.