Cusco

The current name Cusco is dereived from the Qechua word Qosqo which means "navel of the world". For the Inca this city was considered the center of the world because it was very advanced for their time. It also is considered that the city and especially the archaeological sites in the surrounding were strategically located at energetic centers.

Another way of writing the city's name is Cuzco with the letter "z" since during the period of the Spanish colonization it was used in this way.

Myth tells that the city of Cusco was founded by Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the children of the god of the sun, who came from Lake Titicaca with the mission to bring civilization tho the andean peoples around the year 1200 AD. The city was growing and becoming more powerful an bigger every year because their first emperor Manco Capac also conquered neighbored peoples. Considered as the period of the greatest growth, the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacutec around the year 1438 added more territory. The Inca empire comprised the area from the river Maule in present-day Chile to Quito in the north of Ecuador - an empire that can easily be compared to the ancien Roman empire.

Its development was based on order, discipline and education, as well as principles of equality, helping each other, etc. 
The Inca were brilliant architects, engeneers, agricultors, and astrologists. Until today they left us impressed because of their progress.

The decline of the Inca empire began with the arrival of a group of Spanish men led on by Francisco Pizarro in the year 1532. Coincidentally this was at the same time of a civil war between the brothers Huascar and Atahualpa, the emperors of Cuzco and Quito, the reason for the empire to be weakened. On top of that many indigenous peoples of the Inca joined the group of Spanish men because they saw a opportunity to take revenge on their old enemies when supported by them. Francisco Pizarro imprisoned the emperor Huascar and killed him, but not before receiving a room filled with gold that actually should free him. This was the start of the conquest of town after town, until Pizarro and his army finally reached the capital Cuzco, where he commanded to kill the nobles.The spanish foundation of Cusco took place in 1534, but at the same time the Inca lived on under the control of the last Inca, Manco Inca, who founded a second government in the mountains of Vilcabamba that existed for some more centuries. When the former empire finally fully was under spanish control, Cusco still became one of the most important viceroyalities for 4 centuries.

Many men such as Tupac Amaru II (1780) or Francisco de Zela founded liberation movements to end the rejection of the Inca,the Creole and mestizos by the spanish, but they all failed. Finally, in 1821, the liberator Jose de San Martin declared the independence of Peru.

Today, Cusco is one of the most important centers of tourism in South America and in the entire world. It is a cosmopolitan city, where history can be found everywhere, where you see people of all nationalities walking between Inca walls and palaces.

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