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The Stone Puma - Historical Building Cusco - Peru

North of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas towards Cuesta San Blas, you will come upon one of the most haunting tokens of a civilization: the foundation for the one-time palace of 14th century Incan ruler Inca Roca. Throughout Cusco, the Spanish attempted to establish their hegemony by demolishing a century’s worth of physically impressive architecture from the Incan and pre-Incan civilization. But they couldn’t quite destroy it all. The stone blocks were too large, too heavy and, above all, too tightly fit.

The wall on Calle Hatun Rumiyoc is particularly fascinating; how the Incas were able to so closely fit together irregular blocks of stone is a mystery yet to be solved by archaeologists and architects. The stones have the distinct outline of a puma, an animal considered sacred in Inca religion. The original city of Cusco itself is also supposed to resemble this animal. At the wall, the animal is seen in a crouching position. The smaller stones at the base of the wall serve as a reminder of Incan ingenuity, in that they functioned as shock absorbers for the wall itself, which accounts for how it has been able to endure the many earthquakes in the region’s history.

Cusco, Peru

Historical Building Types:
Site of historic significance, Historic architecture, Spiritual/Religious

Relative price: Free

Here are other activities in and around Cusco that may be of interest: Iglesia San Blas, Cusco Cathedral, Museo de Sitio Qoricancha, Raqchi, Museo de Arte y Monasterio de Santa Catalina, Museo de Arte Religioso, Museo HistĂłrico Regional and Qoricancha Templo del Sol and Santo Domingo.

By de
23 Mar 2012

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