Plaza de Armas
- Type: Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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The history of the Plaza de Armas stretches back all the way to the Inca Empire. The Inca built this massive square (originally it was twice its current size) as a venue for festivals and ceremonies. According to legend, this plaza once marked the exact center of the Inca Empire, earning Cusco the nickname "the navel of the world." Within the square, the 16th century Spanish conquistadors constructed La Compañia and the Cathedral; both churches reside on the site of the former Incan palace. Now, the Plaza de Armas contains landmarks significant to both Andean and Spanish history. "No trip to Cusco would be complete without at least a brief visit to the Plaza de Armas. The churches are rustic and beautiful," says one TripAdvisor user.
The plaza buzzes with activity all day and sometimes at night; however, the Cathedral maintains different visiting hours. The Plaza de Armas is located in Cusco's historic center. To reach the square, you can easily walk from most central Cusco hotels, or you can take a taxi.