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The impressive San Cristobal Church of Cusco

Home » Cusco » The main temples and churches in Cusco, Peru » The impressive San Cristobal Church of Cusco
Home » Cusco » The main temples and churches in Cusco, Peru » The impressive San Cristobal Church of Cusco

We begin our route, visiting the different churches of the city of Cusco, this time we go to the north and visit the church of San Cristobal. At first this place belonged to the brother of the rulers of Tahuantinsuyo, later the church was built and is now recognized as a Historic Artistic Monument and has the gigantic sculpture of the Patron Saint Cristobal..

San Cristobal Church History

The San Cristobal church was built in the XVI century, located in the small square of San Cristobal. Currently, this attraction was recognized as a Historic-Artistic Monument and is part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation.

Historically, we know that this land belonged to an important man of the Tahuantinsuyo; on the other hand, before this place was a church there were palaces, Inca neighborhoods (Pumacurco, Choquechaca, Tecsecocha and Colqampata), the latter site first belonged to Maco Capac and then was ceded to Paullo Tupac Y.

According to the Cusquenian history, who gave the order or the initiative to build this temple in this place was the brother of Atahualpa and Huascar, at that time this character was named Paullo Tupac Yupanqui; but when the Spaniards arrived, Atahualpa's brother, as a sign of his devotion to Spanish Christianity, ordered the construction of the present church.

He also decided to change his real name, after converting to Christianity and being baptized with the name of Cristóbal Paullo, and as godfather he had Cristóbal Diego de Castro. As you may have noticed, the church is called San Cristobal and it was not in honor of Paullo, but he named it in honor of his Christian godfather Cristobal Vaca de Castro (Governor of the Viceroyalty of Peru).

To be exact the construction of the church began in 1546, it was built with adobe and at that time the church was considered as the parish of Indians; in 1650 Cusco suffers an earthquake destroying much of its walls.

And who was in charge of the reconstruction was the Cusquenian architect Marcos Uscamayta, since then the San Cristobal church retains its infrastructure, in 2007 were found skeletal remains of Paullo Tupac Yupanqui, founder of the temple.

Regarding the infrastructure the church has a very beautiful tower, has a dome flanked with beautiful pinnacles. The front of the church is in the direction of the square Colcampata a simple structure.

Inside the church you can observe a series of pieces, including the altarpiece that has two bodies, the highlight in these are the shield of Bishop Mollinedo and its silver front, but that's not all, here you will also find a variety of paintings that were made by artists belonging to the Cusco school.

Where is it located?

It is located just 30 minutes walk from the Plaza de Armas Cusco, and if you go by car it will only take about 10 minutes.

What to see and do in San Cristobal church?

San Cristobal Viewpoint

It is located right in the square, this place is worked in stone, you will also find a stone cross. From this site you can see the city of Cusco, as it functions as a viewpoint where you can see the imposing snow-capped Ausangate both day and night.

Patron Saint Christopher

This is the sanctuary of the saint and patron of the place "San Cristobal" who comes out every year on the feast of Corpus Christi, his halo is silver, has a beautiful face, long natural hair, with an imposing figure who is attached to a bush with his right hand and in the other hand holds the Child Jesus.

Palace of Manco Capac

The place has a cellular construction, so it preserves a honeycomb structure made of small polygonal limestone, it is said that this place was used for rituals being part of the palace of Qolqampata built by the Inca Pachacuteq in honor of the founder of the Inca civilization Manco Capac.

Visiting hours and prices

The church of San Cristobal is open every day of the week from 09: 00 to 17: 00 hours. The entrance ticket price is 30 soles, although you can purchase the full ticket to visit all religious centers and archaeological sites in the city of Cusco.

If you are interested in visiting any of these destinations, Terandes travel agency offers you the best options to visit each of these tourist attractions.

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