|Today we explored Cusco via walking tour. 3 of the 9 women in the trip were down with altitude sickness and one more joined us at noon.
We went through the old town, on the square alone there are 4 churches and 23 in all of Cusco although much has had to be rebuilt since the very serious earthquake in 1950. That earthquake cracked some of the plaster and more Inca foundations were discovered. When the Spanish invaded and won Cusco, they built churches and other buildings on top of all the Inca religious foundations to dominate and to ensure that the Inca melded in their religion. However, all the church (Catholic) have decorated the inside of the not with Christ on the cross but with the Mother Mary holding baby Jesus - this was a concession to the indigenous people as the women were the foundation/centre of the communities. And they have painted the paintings incorporating the Andean traditions - for example, The Last Supper painting in the most important church has a guinea pig as the feast - because that would their feast.
The Incan architectural construction is absolutely astounding. The precision and the simple modern graphic shapes are quite impressive and beautiful. The stones were made with tools made of hematite (because it was harder than granite)and - successive windows were levelled with water levels, no mortar was used, and then the stones were polished to be flat with water, sand and stones. All the windows and doors are trapezoidal shape, larger at the bottom.