Cusco…to be or not to be…

Cusco…to be or not to be…

The New 7 Wonders organization responsible for the competition, to worldwide select the New 7 Wonders of the World and the New 7 Wonders of Nature has taken on a new worldwide challenge. Maybe more difficult and more controversial than ever, they are now selecting 7 cities that can be declared World Wonders. 

They have made a very broad initial selection of hundreds of cities that are known to have a high historic value, are large metropolises or have played an important role over history.  And now it is up to the cybernauts to decide what will be the 7 cities that can claim this tittle. The competition is tremendous; cities such as Rome, Athens, Damascus, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Varanasi and Beirut have already proven their right to be one of the “big” cities in the world, with over a 1000 years of history and influence.  

 

So what makes Cusco stand up and declare that they should be included in this much closed circle of 7 cities? Let’s start with Cusco’s historic value:

 

Cusco is recognized as the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, a title it only shares with Quito in Ecuador. 

The Cusco region was inhabited well before the Inca, as proof of other civilizations have been found dating back to 1100AD. This civilization got to be known as the Killke. It was around the 13th Century that the Inca arrived in the Cusco region and started to build Cusco as still can be seen today partially. Sacsayhuaman, the huge Inca Fortress above Cusco got constructed around 1400AD and must have been an undertaking rarely seen in South America before. The city got built over time from the 13th century to 1533 when the Spanish first set foot in Cusco. The city holds quite some fame around the huge constructions, sometimes covered in gold which the Spanish encountered here when they arrived. 

 

On arrival the Spanish did have quite some issues capturing the city as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman proved to be a real test for the Spanish but after some years of struggle they did get hold of the city. They conquered the Sacred Valley and its fortresses but never reached Machu Picchu. The lost city of Machu Picchu is probably the best known Inca remnant in the world but the most important for the Inca was their proud capital Cusco.

The temple of Qoricancha in the Cusco city center used to be the most important Temple of the Sun for the Incas and one of the oldest stone constructions in South America. Unfortunately the conquest of the Spanish went together hand in hand with the Catholic Church and they did not tolerate any other religion than the Catholic religion. This meant that Inca constructions, especially those dedicated to their gods had to be torn down and forgotten. The Spanish never counted on the superior building skills of the Inca and had to give up when they reached the large and incredibly heavy boulders the Inca used in the foundation of their constructions. The Spanish did not know better than to build their houses on top of the Inca foundations. That’s why Cusco now holds a very particular architecture as the foundations of many houses, even to today, are made up out of the Inca foundations situated underneath colonial houses including the large patios and balconies. This can be found in a few other Peruvian places but Cusco is the main example of this particular building style. 

 

Apart from Cusco’s ancient legacy and being the gateway for Machu Picchu, there is another reason Cusco can be included in the circle of “big” cities in the world. Cusco is the home to the typical Andean Culture that is found in South Peru. The Andean Culture is a culture that can be found all over the territory of the old Inca Empire and is a strong and important culture in the Andes. The culture itself may not be that well known in the world but their products all the more; the potato was first cultivated here, llama wool comes from here, amazing gold and silver works come have been made here, and of course who does not know the music from the typical pan flutes.  Furthermore Cusco, because of its history has a vital place in the Peruvian economy. Being one of the major tourist attractions in Peru and the world, Cusco has become a true small metropolis. You can still walk everywhere in town but on your way you will meet hundreds of nationalities all with their own quirks. 

Therefore we feel like voting for Cusco to be part of the “circle of 7” and we hope you do too!!!

 

In case you would, please feel free to vote here; http://www.new7wonders.com/form/nominate/en 

 

For more information about Cusco, please visit; 

www.perutravelsonline.com 

www.southamericatravelsonline.com 


 

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