Today, tourists are surprised by the curiosities that this distinguished city has in the Andes. Here we show you 10 most important curiosities of the ancient capital of the Empire of the Incas.
1.- City that has cougar shape
For the Incas, animals such as: the condor, the serpent and the puma represented the three sacred animals. The latter symbolized strength, wisdom and nature. In addition, it symbolizes the World of the living or Kay Pacha (world of the living). That is why the ancient city of Cusco planned with the shape of a puma. Although today it is almost impossible to distinguish it due to the constant urbanization of the city, it is presumed that the head is located in the fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the tail of the puma in the Coricancha.
2.- The streets of the city of Cusco
In the center of the city of Cusco we can find seven streets whose names begin with the number 7. According to some historians, this number, as in diverse important cultures in the world, is a metaphysical and inexplicable figure in the Andean culture.
The streets we mentioned are: seven masks, seven windows, seven paddles, seven little devils, seven little angels, seven snakes and seven little sheepskins. Each of them, keeps an interesting historical significance. For example, in the street 7 snakes, formerly one could find with these types of animals.
3.- The flag of Cusco
In the year of 1973, a radio station proposed a banner as a symbolic flag for the city of the Incas. The pavilion had the horizontal colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue and purple. After some years, the authorities of Cusco, took it as the authentic flag of Tahuantinsuyo and, with time, of Cusco. That same year, in the United States, the gay pride flag was created with very similar colors. The similarity is pure coincidence.
4.- How do you write, Cusco or Cuzco?
Many educational texts denominate undifferentiated Cusco and Cuzco. What is the correct way then? In practical terms, both are valid. It happens that the Incas did not have graphic writing and to refer to the capital of the empire they simply pronounced Qosqo (Navel). For many years, the sound led to the writing of Castilian as ‘Cuzco’ with ‘z’. However, years later, it was argued that historically it was the Spaniards and not the Incas who pronounced the ‘z’. Finally, for a theme of historical claim, the term ‘Cusco’ with ‘s’ was also approved. Currently, both forms are correct.
5.- The diminutives of the Cusqueños
Certainly the Cusco and Cusco are an essential part of the city of Cusco. For tourists who understand Spanish, it is easy to realize the peculiar form of expression of the inhabitants of that beautiful city. Among the most common expressions, there are the diminutives.
6.- What are those bulls on the roofs of houses?
If you visit the city of Cusco by plane, the landscape from the top is beautiful in part because of the typical red color on the roofs of the houses. But if you look closer you can see that the top of the roofs governs one or two pieces of clay, known among the inhabitants of the city as the ‘Toritos de Pucará’. These are ceramic pieces that originate from the altiplanic village of Pupuja, which are also sold traditionally in the train station of the town of Pucará, adopted its current name. In the Andean cosmovision, they mean protection and happiness in homes. It is common to see them in pairs on the roofs of Cusco.
7 – The black Christ
In the Holy Week celebrations you will be surprised by the devotion of the citizens for the Lord of the Earthquakes. The peculiarity of this representation of Jesus Christ crucified, stands out for being black. It has this color due to the smoke of the thousands of candles that prayed for its miracles since 1650. That same year in Cusco there was a strong tremor that hit the city. It was not until the “Taitacha” of the Earthquakes was taken to the streets that the natural phenomenon ended. Today, one of the main patrons of Cuzco.
8 – Day of the comadres and compadres
The compadrazgo (relationship of the godfather and the godson’s parents) is so important in Cusco, so much so that there is a day to celebrate these people. One Thursday of the month of February (the exact date varies according to the calendar), the women celebrate their day with typical dishes, teasing their compadres and abundant beer.
The following Thursday, the men do the same with their comadres. These festivities precede the traditional festival of carnivals, a festivity full of joy, music and dances.
9.- Public transport service in Cusco
In the city of Cusco as in many cities there is a public transport, but in Cusco it is totally different and peculiar. Since the names of these public transport companies have names of fictitious characters as well as other animals. For example, there is a transport service called ‘Batman’, another called ‘the Roadrunner’ and even ‘Pachacutec’, former Inca emperor. The good thing is that the various public services are easy to memorize.
10.- The Inca still lives
Although it was believed that the time of the Inca emperor was over, such a bes would not believe what happens in the city of Cusco at the end of June. In those dates, the Inca emperor returns to cross the streets of the Qosqo in an amazing representation denominated “Inti Raymi” (Party of the Sun). This important Cuzco celebration, since 1944 revalues the Inca traditions with hundreds of actors and actresses personifying the lives of their predecessors. The performance takes place in sacred sites such as Coricancha and Sacsayhuaman. It celebrates all the winter solstices in the southern hemisphere. Currently this festival you can visit with Andean Peru Treks and make your reservations for this holiday that is unique throughout the year.