Peru: an introduction

Yes, it’s worth going to Machu Picchu! Once a place becomes iconic we may start to loose our interest, however, Peru is one of the richest countries in the world with its archeological heritage and you will learn many things both in an archeological site like Machu Picchu or in the corridors of a museum like Larco Museum in Lima or Pre-Colombus Art Museum in Cusco. Peru is one of the seven places in the world where ‘civilisation’ emerged (like Meso-America, Mesopotamia, Indus, China, etc.)....

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Lima: Pizarro’s New City and Today’s Capital City

When the Spanish arrived in Peru in pursuit of the gold they dreamed of, they hoped for two things: that the city named Biru, which was mentioned in the stories told by the first discoverers, actually existed and that they could find gold there. They arrived in this land on the northern shores of the continent and they did not encounter the Inca Empire they did not know about it then. That is because the Incas chose Cuzco as their capital city: The Inca Empire was a vast one, extending from...

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The old town of Lima, a new administration

The Incas had lost the war and Pizarro started to build his new city on the shores of the Pacific. The administrative policy at that time was to colonise the new lands by naming them a Viceroyalty of the Kingdom of Spain. According to official history in 1535 a city with a new name ‘Ciudad de los Reyes’, meaning the city of kings was founded. The name did not survive though. Lima comes from the indigenous word ‘rimaq’ that was the name of the river called by indigenous, meaning ‘that talks’....

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My Neighborhoods: Barranca and MATE

If you are not in Miraflores, the city’s most chic, biggest and wealthiest and most touristic region of Lima on the shore, the city may seem to you like a place you would not spend time at except for business, an over-industrialized town which is aesthetically not very pleasing with its labyrinthine streets and commonplace buildings along the roads. However, there are areas which stand in contrast with the general look of the city and Barranca is one of them. I don’t quite remember how I got...

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Museo Larco, Lima

Peru is one of the seven places in the world where the first civilisations were founded. Most of us are only familiar with the Incas, the great civilisation the Spanish encountered when they came here. Actually the Inca Empire survived in the last 100-150 years of the 10,000 years-long civilisation history in this land. Countless other civilisations had existed here before they reigned, and they left behind perfect examples of pottery which have been preserved in perfect condition until today...

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Cusco

If you are used to living in a city at sea level like me, you will be stunned when you arrive in Cuzco. Having difficulty walking, breathing and moving at an elevation of 3500 meters, you will realise everything changes when living conditions change…Cuzco was the capitol city of the Inca civilisation. The Spanish did not know about this city because they shored to the northern beaches of the contemporary Peru; in the course of the invasion, the Spanish travelled to the south and settled in...

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A day in Cuzco: The Pre-Columbus Art Museum

If you really want to learn things, you need to walk into side alleys. This museum is hidden like a treasure in the side alleys of the old town of Cuzco. It is similar to the Larco Museum in Lima. The ceramic works which tell the story of thousand years are exhibited in the halls devoted to the Nascas, the Mochicas, the Huaris, the Chancay, and the Incas. Could the mystery of old times be hidden inside these ceramic vessels? The jugs with animal heads, bottles in the form of human figurines,...

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Coricancha Temple and Cusco Cathedral

Two important temples in Cuzco, the first one is the temple built by Incas, the Quri Kancha Temple, the second one is the cathedral right at the square.Quri Kancha temple, or the Into Mancha temple, The Sun Temple, is the temple of the Inkas built before the colonial era. The floors and the ceilings were covered with gold before the Spanish took all of them. For Inkas, gold did not have an exchange value, or a material value, that’s why at first they agreed to give all the gold to the Spanish...

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The Saqsaywaman Castle: An Empire Defeated by a Few Horsemen

A page from history: we are at the Saqsaywaman Castle which is nothing but a pile of big stones in the middle of fields today. It took the Incas a while, but they finally realised that the aim of the Spanish was not simply to grab all the gold and leave, but to stay here and rule the country. First their gold was stolen, then their land, and finally their wives. They were at a loss as to what else they had to give up in order to lead honourable lives when an unexpected member of the dynasty,...

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Machu Picchu

This is one of the most visited places in the world, advertised loudly by the words ‘see it before you die.’ A mountain in a forested valley is rising to the sky like a huge tent, with an alpaca in front of it which was probably added on Photoshop. Could it be a place a traveler who avoids clichés want to visit? …Located around 2500 meters above sea level, in the middle of the Andes, it is a city built with perfect masonry; it was hidden for years, and reachable only by foot in an age when...

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The Road to Huayna Picchu

When we arrived in Macchu Picchu, I walked in to the administration office at once to get down to business: “I have official permission to enter Machu Picchu requested from the Turkish Consulate and issued by the Ministry of Culture; what do I need to do?” I showed the document in my mailbox: ‘To whom it concerns, attached is the permission to enter Machu Picchu of Didem Dogan who will visit it on the 2nd of May.’ ‘But it is the 1st of May, today,’ said the attendant. ‘But what does it...

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