As the legends say, Cusco was founded by Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo in the 13th century. But it was Pachacuti, the ninth Inca, who made Cusco an imperial city so he favored the construction of the historical monuments of downtown Cusco and other cities such as Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu.
The main ruins of this region:
The construction of Machu Picchu took place between the 1460 and 1470 centuries (by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui) and includes granite blocks cut with stone instruments. The buildings served as houses, shops, and sacred temples. In Machu Picchu lived about 1200 people at the height of 8000 feet above sea level. The city is part of the nature that is around. It seems that the buildings come out of the rock is because the architects adapted their work to the environment.
For many centuries Cusco was the capital of Tahuantinsuyo (that’s what the Andean state was called) and the center of the civilization of the Incas. What turned out very well to the Incas is to organize and advance the knowledge of other cultures that they conquered, for example, hydraulic systems, terraced agriculture. In addition, the Chimu and Huari-Tiahuacan people were very important for the development of Andean culture that would face the Spanish empire in the sixteenth century.
As in many large cities the Spaniards came to destroy the Inca buildings and build their palaces on the ruins of the pre-Columbian civilizations. That is why the center of Cusco is full of new buildings based on the old constructions.
The altars of the Qori temple (or temple of the sun) are still found in the Santo Domingo Convent of the 17th century.
Rumicola is located 31 km southeast of Cusco and opens the eastern gate to the Sacred Valley. It is a sacred place of the Inca empire. It was built on a Huari aqueduct.
That temple was built by Inca Pachacuti. In the city, there was an urban center and a residential sector for the nobles as well as terraces, bathrooms and food stores. It was a city that offered shelter for travelers, so it served as a military base for the army of the region.
Sacsayhuaman (or Saqsaywaman) is from Quechua: sacsay is satiated and huaman is hawk, the totem animal of the first Inca Manco Cápac. In the times of the conquest, this place (which is not far from the main square of Cusco) was a place of the bloody battle against the Spaniards.
The walls of Sacsayhuaman made of 5m high stones form several sectors in this place. They include the ceremonial plaza, the bathroom, the houses, and the amphitheater.
This place is located 1km from Sacsayhuaman and includes several sanctuaries, temples with underground chambers and sacrificial rooms that form a labyrinth (Q’enqo in the language of the Incas).