Architecture, paintings, and sculptures stand out on a tour that starts in the city of the Cusco and ends in the Huaro district. There, next to the impressive Urcos lagoon, stands the Canincunca chapel, which is devoted to the Purified Virgin, saint patron of travelers. The chapel was erected in 1620 by Jesuit and Franciscan monks. Its mud walls are adorned with paintings and gold leaf. Something that catches the eyes of travelers is the cemetery behind the building, an uncommon element that creates that shrouds the visit and the temple in a mysterious atmosphere. The Route of the Andean Baroque continues in the Temple of San Juan Bautista, also located in the Huaro district, an hour away from downtown Cusco.
Our guides will share fascinating facts about the places we visit. Among them, the temple of San Juan Bautista has over 1000 square meters of mural paintings, primarily telling stories of death and the Day of Final Judgement. The author of most of these riveting paintings is the mestizo painter Tadeo Escalante, who completed them in 1802. The Devil is a recurring element in these murals, where he visits sickly sinners, as well as infidels, and thieves —they are shown being beheaded, mangled, and sent to hell. God is also depicted in Escalante’s work, alongside men whose good deeds granted them entry to heaven.
The last temple of the circuit is San Pedro Apóstol, situated in Andahuaylillas, a district of the Quispicanchi province. The temple stands on the slopes of a green mountain, approximately 3200 meters above sea level. “This church was built in the early XVII century. The initiative was proposed by viceroy Francisco de Toledo with the goal of evangelizing the native communities”, the work of Jesuit monks was paramount for the building of this temple. Once we are finished with the Route of the Andean Baroque, we will enjoy a delicious typical lunch in the town of Andahuaylillas.
PIKILLACTA: Next on our itinerary is this pre-Inca archeological complex, located 18 km southeast of the Imperial City of the Cusco. Characterized by its buildings of stone, lime, and plaster, Pikillacta was baptized near the end of the colony era with this Quechua word, which means “town of fleas”. It is said that Pikillacta was once the home of the famous Tiahuanaco culture. The streets of this ancient town form quadrants where two-storied buildings —with plastered walls and paved floors— stand out against the sky. Pikillacta was initially a satellite city of the Wari (centuries VI to XIII AD), an important civilization that predates the empire of the “Children of the Sun”.
TIPÓN: It is an archeological site where we will observe the advanced hydraulic engineering practices of the Inca civilizations. In Tipón we will see a complex irrigation system with vertical and horizontal irrigation channels sprawled over staggered terraces, where underground water flows into a fountain from which it is distributed to the aforementioned channels. Tipón was an important center for agricultural production. Nowadays, it is not only a historically significant location but a charming place with a fantastic terrace system, where the fertile soil continues to bear fruit.