Plaza de Armas in Cuzco
Some might call it the center stage of Cuzco. Plaza de Armas, better known to the locals as “square of the warrior,” is a site of common knowledge not just for Peruvians, but for all Latin Americans. It was the location where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the Spanish conquest of Cuzco, as well as the scene of ultimate demise for famed rebellion leader Túpac Amaru II in 1781.
The plaza serves as a common ground for pre-ceremonial fraternization among those who come to worship at the Church of la Compañía. The grand building allows a large flow of foot traffic from the plaza, and was constructed on top of an underground house of prayer in the late 16th century. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo is the premier Christian church of Cuzco. With its facade also visible from the square of the warrior, the cathedral is also home to several of the city's most important colonial artworks.
When the Incas built the plaza, it was nearly twice its current size and functioned as a cultural center for their society. The area was originally built in the shape of a puma, a testament to their assemblage of beliefs regarding the animal kingdom. Cuzco was the capital of the Incan Empire, and Plaza de Armas was the center of Cuzco. Ergo, this plaza was perhaps one of the most significant locations of a departed civilization.