Cuzco the old capital of the Inca empire is situated high up in the Andes. From the ancient Inca capital, Cuzco, the lost city of Machu Picchu, to the mysterious Nazca lines, or the vast adobe ruins of Chan Chan, as well the opulent cities founded by the Spanish conquerors. Undoubtedly the scenery is the most spectacular you can find in South America.
Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire which extended through the west coast and highlands of the South American continent. It and its surroundings were the first settlement of the Incas, it happened on early 13th century.
From that moment, the Inca people developed a kingdom and later an Empire by conquests and wars, but also by agreements with other kingdoms in the Southern highlands (Titicaca Lake), west coast, and Northern coast and highlands.
Cusco was designed in the form of a puma with the legendary 15th century fortress of Sacsahuaman as the head. The confluence of the Huatanay and Tullumayo rivers was canalized and straightened to form the tail .The hearth of the city and the puma was the Huacaypata; it was the main square of Incan Cusco.
Cuzco appears to have been a centre of only mediocre importance until the 15th century when the power of the Incas was affirmed following the battle against the Chancas invaders: its reconstruction, directed by two great Incas, Pachacutec (1438-71) and Tupac Yupanqui (1471-93) lasted 20 years and, supposedly, employed 50,000 men.
The Inca part of Cusco is still visible, in its many plazas and temples as well as massive remnant earth-quake proof walls. In Cusco are many feasts thanks to the catholic devotion of its people and its history.
One of the most important is the "Inti Raymi", this festivity is an Inca ritual to worship the sun, the main god of the Incas. Another important celebration is the "Qollur riti", this is a catholic pilgrimage at the end of May.
Cuzco was the seat of government as well as a city. It was a busy place. Messengers travelled back and forth with news from across the empire. Armies, engineers, priests, and administrators arrived and left again, travelling to wherever in the empire they were needed.
Most historians today assign the date of the creation of the Inca Empire in the city of Cuzco to the early thirteenth century, about three hundred years before the Spanish arrived in Peru. The walls around Cusco are from the Inca era and so are its streets that are aligned according to the position of different stars as the Incas were expert astronomers of their time.
Cusco is fast becoming a tourism hotspot of Peru and the reason is not only the rich history of the place but also the vibrant lifestyle and nightlife with its numerous nightclubs and bars that are believed to be the best in the continent.
More info on- Inca Civilization Culture