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Cusco Cathedral

La Catedral de Cuzco
La Catedral is actually three churches in one, each of which are exquisite. It is decorated in the Baroque style, with more gilt and gold trimming than you can imagine. In order to convert the Incan people to Catholicism, the Spanish used symbols from Incan religion throughout the church. Look for the hundreds of mirrors, as well as the triangle shape associated with the Mountain God.

La Catedral hosts a couple of particularly unique pieces, including a Peruvian rendition of the Last Supper featuring a guinea pig as the main dish. El Señor de Los Temblores is a crucifix that stopped the Cuzco earthquake of 1650, and is featured prominently in the cathedral.

Pictures are not allowed inside, but the exterior of La Catedral is picturesque both during the day and at night when it's lit up with the rest of La Plaza de Armas.

Qorikancha Convento De Santo Domingo
The courtyard of a working monastery in the heart of Cusco city. The monastery houses an art collection as well as Incan structures.

Behind the scenes at Corpus Christi
While in Cusco, Peru, the Corpus Christi festival was in full swing. Every year, the local people carry enormous effigies of Catholic Saints up the Andes mountains and then back down, all the way to the Cusco Cathedral in the Plaza del Armas. The legend goes that the night before the main festivities, when all the saints are stored in the central nave of the church, they come alive and talk to each other. We were able to slip inside as the young men were carrying the saints into the streets- it's a great honor to carry the saints, though many have died doing so, from the extreme weight. I snapped this shot just as they were walking past.

Art in Cusco
The Cusco School Of Art is a series of religious paintings. The Spaniards taught the Inca artists how to paint their icons in the style of Flemish and Gothic masters. There are no names on the paintings and though the subject is Christianity, the Indians have managed to put in many hidden symbols from their own culture. They moved from the traditional style and added their own interpretation. The best pieces are in the Cusco Cathedral.
The magic of the Andes is that every time you turn around, the colors are different

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