Mansions and palaces in Cuzco

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In the beginning of the Colonial period in Cuzco, the conquerors and those who represented the king of Spain in Peru started to settle in this city. They built opulent and luxurious residences many of which were constructed over the old Inca palaces. This produced and eclectic architecture that fused both Spanish and Inca styles together.

The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s house

This refined colonial-styled chateau is considered one of the most beautiful in Cuzco. The historian and most important chronicler of the ancient history of Peru, Garcilaso de la Vega, used to live here.

It is located in front of the splendid “Regocijo” Square, in the city of Cuzco, just at the crossroads of Garcilaso and Heladeros Streets. An old Inca wall serves as its base, while the rest of the construction follows a colonial style.

Many recognized Peruvian artists restored the house in several occasions. Today it is the house for the Regional Historical Museum where there is a permanent collection of local artists.

  Admiral’s Mansion (Casona o Palacio del Almirante)

Francisco Alderete Maldonado was its first owner, a Spanish admiral who ordered the construction in the beginnings of the 17th Century. This palace-shaped house is a valuable sample of the architecture after the Spanish conquest. Its facade is basically an Inca wall with Corinthian pillars that hold the coats of arms of the Alderete and Maldonado families.

The Casona del Almirante house, was first the seat of the Archdiocese, then Government House and finally it was bought by the University of San Antonio de Abad. Today the Inca Museum works there, with an amazing collection of archeological pieces, mummies and items that belonged to the Inca and pre-Inca culture. 

Cabrera House (Casa Cabrera)

In its facade you can still observe the remains of an old wall that was once part of an Inca palace. According to the historians it worked as a school or a knowledge center until the arrival of the Spanish. The house belonged to Don Luis Gerónimo de Cabrera, mayor of Cuzco in 1649. Over the entrance lintel there is still the coat of arms of the Cabrera family.

In 2002, the Cabrera House was transformed into the main office of the Museum of Pre Columbian Art (MAP, Museo de Arte Precolombina) which holds a large collection of jewelry, pottery and other objects of the ancient Peruvian cultures.  

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