The Cathedral of Cusco or the Basilica Cathedral of the Virgin of Asuncion is the main temple and christian religious monument in Cusco City, Peru.
It is located on the northeast side of the current Plaza de Armas.
The Cathedral of Cusco was built on the spot where the Suntur Wasi, Suntur Wasi, the Palace of Inca Viracocha had once been.
According to history, the Plaza de Armas of Cusco was surrounded by incas´palaces to accommodate their panakas or royal families. One of those was the Kiswarkancha belonging to the Inca Viracocha. In its Eastern side there was a circular building called Suntur Wasi, a house of weapons and shields. Nowadays, on top of these two primitive buildings stand the Cathedral and the two smaller churches.
In the period of the conquest, the Ecclesiastical Council of the city ordered the demolition and relocation of andesite stones of the main walls of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman for the construction of the cathedral between 1560 and 1664.
Although the building was designed and supervised by architects and Hispanic priests, the labour was executed with the sweat, tears and blood of the Incas.
As evidence of it, the traveler can see when visiting the Cathedral, the large blocks of red granite taken from the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
The building is one of the most impressive of the city, its renaissance facade contrasts with the mud and silver of its luxurious interiors.
It also has one of the most important goldsmith samples of colonial art, engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of paintings from the Cusco School.
At its sides, there are two small auxiliary chapels, one of them, the church of Triumph, which was the first cathedral of Cusco, erected in 1.532 over the palace of Inca Viracocha.
The construction of this cathedral took 132 years. It was built on an area of over 4.000 m2, it has eleven chapels, one vestry, one chapter house, seven altarpieces, one choir under fully carved in cedar wood of Cusco; this craft was developed by an indigenous teacher and a Spanish teacher.
The Cathedral, also, has over 300 paintings, various carvings and sculptures.
The main altar is thoroughly covered with layers of Cusco’s silver and it weighs 1.250 kg. which is the quivalent to 15 thousand silver marcs (virreinal measure). This fortune was donated by a local bishop who ahd it brought from the mines of Santo Tomas. It is worth to mention the famous Silver Chariot of Cusco, which still carries, in procession, the virile custody of the cathedral during religious festival of Corpus Christi.
The architectonic plan is ular cross that provide access to the temples of the Sacred Family and of the Triumph, seeming a Latin Cross in plan view. It has five sheds, twenty-eight pillars and fifty-six arches.
The tour of the Cathedral includes the visit to Triunfo Temple and the Sagrada Familia.
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00h.
Address: Plaza de armas, Cusco city.
Phone: +51 84 246799.
Ticket (Parcial, only this museum):
Adult: S/ 25 (Nuevos Soles)
Student: S/ 12.50 (Nuevos Soles)
The Cathedral is included in the Circuit of Religious Museums. This circuit allows the tourist to get to know the majestic viceroyalty (viceregal) world of Cusco and Peru. A privileged sample of art that combines a great diversity of styles: ranging from the transition style, manierism, tenebrismo, rococo, baroque, to neoclassic.
These temples and museums host the most marvelous pieces of art created by Europeans, native and mestizo (half-breed) craftsman, so called maestros (Masters).
Creating the meeting of two cultures, a fusion of ideas and a double codification of values.
The Religious Museums circuit are: The Cathedral of Cusco, Company of Jesus Temple, Museum of Religious Art, San Blas Temple.
The fee to access all museums that make up the circuit:
Adults: S/ 50.00 (Nuevos Soles)
Students: S/ 25.00 (Nuevos Soles)
Address for tickets: Sala de la Santa Inquisición, Plaza de Armas, Cusco.
Phone: +51 84 246799