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“Imposing monument - to the victors go the spoils”

Catedral del Cuzco o Catedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asuncion
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US$95.00*
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Private Puka Pukara, Tambomachay, Sacsayhuaman and Cusco City Full-Day Tour
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US$190.00*
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Private Half-Day Tour of Cusco and Its Surroundings
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US$24.00*
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Shared Cusco City Tour by Bus
Ranked #7 of 175 things to do in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Dominating the northeast side of the Plaza de Armas, this magnificent renaissance-style, 16th-century building is in the shape of a Latin cross and contains nearly 400 colonial paintings including the Last Supper by Marcos Zapata.
Reviewed 1 December 2013

As far as cathedrals go, this one is large, ornate, well appointed with gold, silver, and art work. As other reviewers point out, there are numerous "churches" within the naves and apses of the cathedral. Having learned a bit of history during my visit to Peru, I knew that this cathedral was built on top of a large, important Incan temple as part of the Spanish program to "civilize" the natives (they built churches on top of every Incan temple that they found to send the message that their god was more powerful than the Incan gods). That knowledge along with the fact that Spain (and the Catholic church) enslaved the native people and took their gold and silver to build this cathedral as well as many others put a damper on my enthusiasm for what would otherwise be an impressive monument. I did enjoy the Cusco school of art work, done by natives trained to imitate European religious art - the most famous of which is the last supper, featuring a Peruvian delicacy, guinea hen. It is worth the price of admission just to see this one painting.

Thank Mmeyernos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,314 - 1,318 of 5,785 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

Absolutely beautiful. And huge! Lots of beautiful sculptures and paintings. Get a guide if you can, it's nice to have things explained here. Check out mass if you're available in the morning.

Thank beffly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Imensa, sóbria. Talvez um pouco sombria. Muito rica em detalhes e obras de arte.
Gorgeous. Immense, sober. Maybe a little gloomy. Very rich in detail and artwork.

Thank Norberto99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

Yes, excellent indeed was the ARTISTRY showing outside and inside of this impressive religious building: the baroque facade, the imposing bell-towers, the three different churches in one single building, the many huge paintings by the so-called "Cusco school", it all for sure left the visitor "with a dropped jaw"!
Interesting enough, one of these paintings, depicting a "Last Supper" (Leonardo da Vinci would have loved to see this version of his famed one) understandably had tropical fruits and a roasted "cuy" (guinea-pig) as entries on the center platters...
However, what bothered me the most was the impudence with which the Spaniards (and their Church, as a matter of fact) indulged in flaunting lavishly decorated glittering altars of gold and silver (the very reason they had come and conquered) in the face of the enslaved indigenous peoples who had managed to somehow survive the ordeal and the cruelties inflicted upon them.
Even all the precious hard-wood ripped from the forests and employed to further decorate everything else, and the stones taken by dismantling the existing Inca religious buildings to build their own, leaves you wonder if you truly like it or not!
As an Italian baptized in the Catholic Church, and having had in my upbringing to painfully digest its historic immoral (and at times) brutal duality, I have a hard time accepting as "beautiful" the altars of gold, built by rivers of blood!

1  Thank Francesca Giova... P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

The cathedral is amazing inside & out, but I'm sorry to say Cusco as a whole, just skip it and go strait to Machu Picchu, cusco is very dirty, many beggars, hustlers, and barterer's roaming the streets, impossible to sit and enjoy the sights without being harassed by someone.

1  Thank Connor C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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