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La Catedral picture in Cusco
Claude LeTein / Getty Images

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  • Churches/Religious Sites Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5
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  • Value
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

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Amid the many splendors found in the Plaza de Armas, the sky-high La Catedral is one of Cusco's finest architectural displays. Constructed in the 1550s with stones stolen from Sacsayhuamán, the baroque cathedral features opulent ceilings and gold and silver altars. It is also home to an impressive collection of colonial art that mixes Catholic traditions with indigenous legends.

La Catedral houses a world-renowned painting believed to depict the earthquake that shook Cusco in 1650. And across the building, you'll find a famous crucifix called Señor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes) who is said to have stopped the 17th-century earthquake from destroying the city.

Many of the works of art give insight into how the Andean people shifted to embrace Spanish culture and religion. For example, paintings of The Last Supper by Quechua artist Marcos Zapata depict Jesus and his disciples eating common ceremonial foods found in the region like cuy (roasted guinea pig) and chicha (a drink made from corn). Guests can also see images of the Virgin Mary depicting Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Recent visitors suggested exploring the church with a guide in order to hear the fascinating stories behind the structure and its artwork.

Visitors can stroll through the cathedral every day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for 25 soles (about $7). Save some money by purchasing the Boleto Turístico ticket, which costs 130 soles (roughly $40) and includes admission to 16 of Cusco's attractions, including the La Catedral. 

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Catedral

Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Catedral ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Belmond Hotel Monasterio ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
Hostal El Triunfo

Hostal El Triunfo ...

  • None Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Cusco »

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#1 Plaza de Armas The history of the Plaza de Armas stretches back all the way to the Inca Empire when it was called Huacaypata or Aucaypata. The massive square (originally twice its current ... Read more » mckaysavage / Flickr

#2 Machu Picchu It's hard to believe this iconic "lost city of the Incas" was untouched during the Spanish conquest. The Incas cleverly obscured these 12 acres of temples, aqueducts and gardens ... Read more » Michael Lawenko Dela Paz / Getty Images

#3 La Catedral Amid the many splendors found in the Plaza de Armas, the sky-high La Catedral is one of Cusco's finest architectural displays. Constructed in the 1550s with stones stolen ... Read more » Claude LeTein / Getty Images

#4 Sacsayhuaman Sacsayhuamán is often overshadowed by Machu Picchu, but this towering ancient Incan fortress – filled with exquisite stone masonry and dramatic vistas – is worth a visit. Much of the massive ... Read more » Kelly Cheng Travel Photography / Getty Images

#5 Qorikancha For a glimpse of the Inca's former grandeur, look no further than Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun), also known as "Court of Gold." In its heyday, Inca's ... Read more » DC_Colombia / Getty Images

#6 Planetarium Cusco Located next to Sacsayhuamán, the Cusco Planetarium offers travelers a unique experience in the hills surrounding the city. While it may not be much to look at (the small ... Read more » roman makhmutov / Getty Images

#7 Museo de Arte Precolombino While Qorikancha and Machu Picchu draw more visitors, the Museo de Arte Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Art Museum) possesses a world-class Peruvian collection that cannot be matched. This 12-room exhibition ... Read more » Museo Larco Lima – Perú

#8 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Winding through Peru's verdant landscape toward Machu Picchu, this famous four-day hike is not for the faint of heart. That said, recent travelers say the laborious trek pays off ... Read more » R. Tyler Gross / Getty Images

#9 Museo Inka Located in a beautiful 16th-century colonial mansion that was once home to Spanish Admiral Francisco Alderete Maldonado, the Museo Inka (Inca Museum) boasts an eclectic assortment of Incan artifacts. Read more » Kelly Cheng Travel Photography / Getty Images

Plaza de Armas picture in Cusco
Machu Picchu picture in Cusco
La Catedral picture in Cusco
Sacsayhuamán picture in Cusco
Qoricancha picture in Cusco
Planetarium picture in Cusco
Museo de Arte Precolombino picture in Cusco
Inca Trail picture in Cusco
Inca Museum picture in Cusco
Plaza de Armas picture in Cusco
Machu Picchu picture in Cusco
La Catedral picture in Cusco
Sacsayhuamán picture in Cusco
Qoricancha picture in Cusco
Planetarium picture in Cusco
Museo de Arte Precolombino picture in Cusco
Inca Trail picture in Cusco
Inca Museum picture in Cusco

Eye-catching dancers in traditional Peruvian costumes fill the Plaza de Armas during colorful annual Andean fiestas. mckaysavage / Flickr

Michael Lawenko Dela Paz / Getty Images

This opulent cathedral showcases the clash of Andean and Spanish architecture. Claude LeTein / Getty Images

Sacsayhuamán was once a massive Incan fortress, before much of the structure was used as building materials for the Spanish conquistadors.  Kelly Cheng Travel Photography / Getty Images

Translated as Temple of the Sun, the walls of Qoricancha were once plated with gold.  DC_Colombia / Getty Images

roman makhmutov / Getty Images

The Museo de Arte Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Art Museum) features artifacts that date between 1250 B.C. and 1532 A.D.  Museo Larco Lima – Perú

The three-night, four-day hike along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is moderately difficult, but well worth it to many travelers.  R. Tyler Gross / Getty Images

Kelly Cheng Travel Photography / Getty Images

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