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Cusco Cathedral

An imposing building constructed with stones from an Inca fortress is celebrated for its beautiful architecture and artwork that spans three centuries.

Standing over Cusco’s main square is Cusco Cathedral, an impressive Gothic-Renaissance structure built on the site of an Inca palace. Explore the interior, filled with more than 400 canvases, woodcarvings and a silver altar.

Construction on the cathedral started in 1559 and was completed almost 100 years later. Many of the stones were taken from the nearby fortress of Sacsayhuaman. On your way inside, note the carved figure of a puma head on the main doors, which was erected by the Inca workforce during the cathedral’s construction. In Inca mythology, the puma represents the physical world. 

Admire the numerous artworks, many of which are from the Cusqueña school of painting. This was a Cusco-based Roman Catholic artistic tradition from the 16th to 18th centuries.  Don’t miss the painting depicting Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper eating roasted guinea pig and tropical fruit. 

Pay a visit to the Lord of the Earthquakes. This icon of Jesus was paraded through the streets by terrified residents during the devastating earthquake of 1650. Many people claimed the carved religious figure stopped the seismic activity. Every Easter Monday, you can watch the statue as it is carried in a procession through the city.

Marvel at the main altar, which is made of solid silver. Appreciate the craftsmanship of the cedar wood choir with its carved figures of bishops, popes and saints. Visit the cathedral’s sacristy where the walls are covered with paintings of Cusco’s bishops. Head to one of the towers to see the 7-foot (2-meter) María Angola bell, the largest bell in South America.

Cusco Cathedral is open daily. Situated on Cusco’s main public square, Plaza de Armas, the cathedral is easily accessible on foot and by bus from many parts of the city. After your tour of the cathedral, visit the two other churches on the square. The Church of the Society of Jesus contains canvases and silver artwork. The Church of Triumph hosts the ashes of Garcilaso de la Vega, a prominent Spanish writer.

There are loads of unique ways to experience Cusco Cathedral. Here is a list of some of the top ones:

Take a look at our Cusco things to do page to discover even more activities while you're here.


Map

Top Cusco Cathedral Hotel Deals

See all 1,046 properties near Cusco Cathedral
Antigua Casona San Blas SG$126
Antigua Casona San Blas

Antigua Casona San Blas

Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Cusco Historic Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Blas Church, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. Hatunrumiyoc and Twelve Angled Stone are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 15 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 18 minutes.

    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco SG$266
    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

    Esquina De La Calle Ruinas 432, y San Agustin, Cusco, Cusco
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Cusco Historic Center, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of UNSAAC Yale International Center, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. Museum of Religious Art and Hatunrumiyoc are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 15 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 15 minutes.

      Novotel Cusco SG$129
      Novotel Cusco

      Novotel Cusco

      San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. UNSAAC Yale International Center and Museum of Religious Art are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 14 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 15 minutes.

        Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco SG$247
        Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

        Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cusco Historic Center, this luxury hotel is steps away from Coricancha and Kusicancha. Centro de Textiles and Santa Catalina Convent are also within 10 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 10 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 14 minutes.

          Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco SG$108
          Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco

          Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco

          Santa Teresa N 344, Cusco, Cusco
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Plaza de Armas. Cusco Cathedral is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away. San Pedro Station is 11 minutes by foot and Cusco Wanchaq Station is 18 minutes.

            Hilton Garden Inn Cusco SG$124
            Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

            Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of San Pedro Church, Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Calle Marquez are also within 10 minutes. San Pedro Station is 10 minutes by foot and Cusco Wanchaq Station is 25 minutes.

              Sonesta Hotel Cusco SG$110
              Sonesta Hotel Cusco

              Sonesta Hotel Cusco

              Ave. El Sol 954, Cusco, Cusco
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cusco Craft Center and Plaza de Armas. Cusco Cathedral is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Cusco Wanchaq Station is only a 3-minute walk and San Pedro Station is 16 minutes.

                Casa Andina Premium Cusco SG$135
                Casa Andina Premium Cusco

                Casa Andina Premium Cusco

                Plazoleta De Limacpampa Chico - 473, Cusco, Cusco
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Quechua Museum, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. Coricancha and Kusicancha are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 10 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 15 minutes.