Peru

(Pictures taken in 2007)

Cusco

Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. In 2013, the city had a population of 435,114. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m.

The site was thehistoric capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the16th-century Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cusco was declared a WorldHeritage Site by UNESCO with the title “City of Cuzco”. Ithas become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 millionvisitors a year. The Constitution of Peru designates it as theHistorical Capital of Peru.

The indigenous Killke culture built the walled complex of Sacsayhuamán about 1100.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru, on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres above sea level.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Chan Chan

Chan Chan was the largest city of the pre-Columbian era in South America. It is now an archaeological site in La Libertad Region 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) west of Trujillo, Peru.

Chan Chan is located in the mouth of the Moche Valley and was the capital of the historical empire of the Chimor from 900 to 1470, when they were defeated and incorporated into the Inca Empire. Chimor, a conquest state, developed from the Chimú culture which established itself along the Peruvian coast around 1400 AD. In the Chimú tongue, Quingnam, Chan Chan means “Sun Sun;” it was named for its sunny climate which is cooled year round by a southerly breeze.

Chan Chan is in a particularly arid section of the coastal desert of northern Peru. Due to the lack of rain in this area, the major source of water for Chan Chan is in the form of rivers carrying surface runoff from the Andes. This runoff allows for control of land and water through irrigation systems.

The city of Chan Chan spanned 20 km² and had a dense urban center of 6 km² which contained extravagant ciudadelas. Ciudadelas were large architectural masterpieces which housed plazas, storerooms, and burial platforms for the royals. The splendor of these ciudadelas suggests their association with the royal class. Housing for the lower classes of Chan Chan’s hierarchical society are known as small, irregular agglutinated rooms (SIARs).Because the lower classes were often artisans whose role in the empire was to produce crafts, many of these SIARs were used as workshops.

Chan Chan is the largest mud city in the world, and its fragile material is cause for concern. The heavy rains of El Niño damages the base of Chan Chan’s structures. Increased rain also leads to increased humidity, and as humidity gathers in the bases of these structures, salt contamination and vegetation growth can occur, which further damage the integrity of Chan Chan’s foundations. Global warming will only further these negative impacts, as climate change facilitates increased precipitation.

Historic Centre of Lima

The city of Lima, the capital of Peru, was founded by Francisco Pizarro on 18 January 1535 and given the name City of the Kings. Nevertheless, with time its original name persisted, which may come from one of two sources: Either the Aymara language lima-limaq (meaning “yellow flower”), or the Spanish pronunciation of the Quechuan word rimaq (meaning “talker”, and actually written and pronounced limaq in the nearby Quechua I languages). It is worth noting that the same Quechuan word is also the source of the name given to the river that feeds the city, the Rimac river . Early maps of Peru show the two names displayed jointly.

In 1988, UNESCO declared the historic center of Lima a World Heritage Site for its originality and high concentration of historic monuments constructed in the time of Spanish presence.

Of the structures in the historical center of Lima, situated are more than 1,600 balconies that were built in the viceroyalty era as well as in the republic. In order to retain its conservation, the Municipality of Lima has invited individuals and companies to adopt a balcony in order to maintain them as if they were new. The abundance of these balconies adds to the particular harmony and originality to this part of the city.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are a group of very large trenches in the Nazca Desert, in southern Peru. They were created between 500 BCE and 500 CE.

These geoglyphs are 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) deep, and between 0.4 and 1.1 km (.2 and .7 mi) wide. Their combined length is over 1,300 km (808 mi), and cover an area of about 50 sq km (19 sq mi).

They were made by scraping off the top layer of reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles to reveal a yellow-grey subsoil.

Historical center of Arequipa

In December 2000, UNESCO declared the historical center of Arequipa a World Heritage Site, stating the following:

“The historical center of Arequipa is an example of ornamented architecture, represents a masterpiece of the creative coalition of European and native characteristics. A colonial town challenged by the conditions of nature, the indigenous influences, the conquest process and evangelism as well as for a spectacular natural scenario.”

The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city’s robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades.

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