A Day in Cusco
My Peru Journal
After lunch at the elegant Inka Grill on the plaza, we spent the afternoon touring the cathedral and temple of the sun. The cathedral was built in the 1500s by the Spanish. It was brown and rough on the outside, with multiple domed vaults and symmetrical towers, but on the inside it was full of gold-encrusted baroque, rococo and renaissance shrines and huge paintings in muted gray and black in the Spanish style "portraits and religious scenes" many painted by local artists. Enshrined in a small undercroft are the ashes of Garca I Llosa, the mestizo chronicler who in 1609 recorded his memories of the 1533 Spanish conquest of the Incas.
Cusco's temple of the sun is a colonial church built on top of an Inca structure. A cloister was constructed among the Inca walls; outside were terraced gardens and a fountain. Dinner that night was early, at Incanto off the Square. Aji de Gallina, a local dish of chicken in chili cheese sauce, was a revelation.