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February 22, 2021

At some point you wondered how many squares does the city of Cusco have? There is more than one magical place in the city, so we decided to select the oldest squares with the greatest history in the surroundings of the city.

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main-square-cusco

The squares of Cusco are not only full of stories and anecdotes typical of a city in the Andes, each square has an architectural value typical of the colonial era, during the historical process of Cusco the squares led to have different functions from temporary markets to stalls Aid in times of disaster, but what we can highlight is that despite the time it has always been tried to maintain the beauty of these squares with anecdotes and stories transmitted from generation to generation.

In this post we will try to be as brief as possible to give you to know in a better way all the important data of these places of Cusco, sit back in your chair and enjoy this short reading.

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During the history, each city of Peru from the colonial era, sought to have its main square, this in reference to the Spanish culture and its architectural styles.
In Inca times there were also places only that their function was more linked to the rite or customs of a religion.

CUSIPATA SQUARE

In Inca times there was a large main square in the current main square of Cusco. The place was so wide that the first Spaniards who arrived in the city decided to divide this space into 2 parts, one part would be the current main square of Cusco and the other would be the Plaza de Cusipata, but not before being divided by a row of separate houses

Initially, the use that this square had in colonial times was as a local market called  Tiangues because between two and 3 days a week the Cusipata Square became a market for the local people of Cusco.

Why is it called Cusipata?

The dualism of complementary opposites in Andean philosophy and worldview was found in all kinds of representations from places of worship, as well as architectural buildings. The main square that existed in Cusco in Inca times, was the Huacaypata, whose translation would be the square of sadness, tears and agony, the opposite of this square was the Cusipata square, whose translation would be (happiness, joy and rejoicing)

plaza-regocijo-cusco

SAN FRANCISCO SQUARE

In Inca times this place was used for agriculture as well as a space for the construction of palaces for future Inca rulers.

The place also served as a checkpoint for one of SUYOS  (They were the four great territorial divisions of the Inca Empire, in which its various provinces were grouped) the road that leads to the western area of ​​the Inca empire. Place they called CONTISUYO.

Currently, this square has numerous trees and shrubs endemic to the place, you can enjoy these trees since there are all the varieties that grow in the city of Cusco, making it a museum of live endemic plants.

In the 1970s, due to its proximity to the San Pedro Market and the San Pedro del Ferrocarril del Sur station that makes the route to Machu Picchu and the province of La Convencion, the square became the point of arrival and departure for vehicles to nearby towns.

As a consequence of these factors, it became an informal trade point and suffered both physical and social deterioration.

Why is it called San Francisco ?

At present the square is named after the temple that is located there. As this place was under the administration of the monks , they decided to call this square San Francisco.

san-francisco-square-cusco

Currently, this square has numerous trees and shrubs endemic to the place, you can enjoy these trees since there are all the varieties that grow in the city of Cusco, making it a museum of live endemic plants.

NAZARENAS SQUARE

In Inca times, Cusco was a city with a good design in terms of the distribution of its streets and important buildings, the Inca engineers gave the shape of a puma to the city of Cusco at the same time they created a city with a distribution of streets, squares, aqueducts and roads very well distributed applying urban planning techniques of the current era.

This square was built in the time of the Incas as a square where the buildings dedicated to Inca knowledge like  schools, higher education center or Yachay Wasi (houses of knowledge) were located.

Why is it called Nazarenas?

From the 50s of the 16th century until 1620, the square was called "Plazuela del Convento de Santa Clara". Later, it was called "Plazuela de Santa Clara la Vieja" and "Plazuela del Colegio y Seminario de San Antonio Abad". It is from the 19th century, after the installation of the Beguinage de las Nazarenas in the neighboring Casa de las Sierpes, that the square was known by its current name

nazarenas-plaza-cusco

SAN BLAS SQUARE

After building the city of Cusco in Inca times, they were in charge of creating a variety of different places of worship, one of these places was the neighborhood of T'oqokachi, where the neighborhood of San Blas is currently located. The place was part of an important group of families in ancient Peru that is why many Spanish invaders were interested in the place was under the administration of the noble families of Cusco.

Why is it called San Blas ?

Upon the arrival of the Spanish, they decided to divide the city of Cusco into 8 neighborhoods. For this, each place must have its own temple and a Catholic image of worship. They chose the 3rd century bishop San Blas for the miracles he performed.

The neighborhood of San Blas completely changed its Inca architecture to give way to a colonial style architecture, the houses, streets, water fountains and squares are entirely in colonial style.

SAN-BLAS-SQUARE-CUSCO

Upon the arrival of the Spanish, they decided to divide the city of Cusco into 8 neighborhoods. For this, each place must have its own temple and a Catholic image of worship. They chose the 3rd century bishop San Blas for the miracles he performed.

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