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The most important churches in Cusco and the best times to visit them.

June 10, 2024

What are the most important churches in Cusco?

Cusco is a wonderful city that captivates its visitors, not only because of its fascinating natural attractions, but also because of its impressive buildings. The Spanish architectural style and Peruvian art combine to give rise to truly majestic infrastructures.

The churches in Cusco are among the most relevant points of interest for locals and tourists. It is the main attraction for those who come to the imperial city with the intention of discovering every detail of its history. Let's take a look now at the most prominent churches in the region that you shouldn't miss on your trip.

As mentioned before, the churches in Cusco are some of the main stops you should make if you decide to explore this interesting city. But where to start? Which one cannot be missed? Right now, we'll tell you which church in Cusco, Peru, you shouldn't miss!

1. Cusco Cathedral

Starting the best tour of temples in Cusco involves visiting the central area of the city, where the Cathedral is located. As expected, it is one of the most prominent constructions in the region. Among other things, it is characterized by its Baroque and Renaissance style that has been well-preserved since its elevation in 1599.

One of the peculiarities of the Cusco Cathedral is that although its construction began in 1599. It was not until a century later that it was finally completed, due to multiple economic problems.

Another interesting fact about this church is that some of the stones used in its construction were brought to the city directly from the fortress of Sacsayhuamán. Let's see other aspects about the church:

  • It is located exactly northwest of the Plaza de Armas de Cusco.
  • It gathers a total of 400 canvases made by local artists.
  • It has three temples (Basilica Cathedral of Cuzco, El Triunfo, and the Temple of the Holy Family).
  • Entry is free during mass hours (6:00 am - 10:00 am).

2. The Society of Jesus Church

The Church of the Society of Jesus is another relevant temple that you can visit in the imperial city. Its proximity to the Cathedral of Cusco makes it a nearby stop on your tour of local churches. It is worth mentioning that it is not a very prominent infrastructure, but its interior can surprise you.

The church was restored in 1972, so all the damage caused by the 1650 earthquake was recovered. Currently, it is one of the architectural jewels of the country, so it was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation by the National Institute of Culture. Other important data of the church are:

  • The construction dates back to 1575, but it was completed in 1670.
  • The church is elevated on the base of the old temple called Amarucancha.
  • It is located next to the Plaza de Armas de Cusco.
  • The entrance hours are during the masses, free of charge or by paying a ticket at the following times:
    • Monday to Friday: 08:00 to 11:00 hrs and 13:00 to 17:00 hrs.
    • Sundays: From 09:00 to 10:30 hrs and from 13:00 to 17:00 hrs.

3. San Blas Temple

The San Blas Temple is a wonderful church that you must visit in Cusco. It is located in one of the most important places in the city: the San Blas neighborhood. In addition to being in the heart of Cusco, one of the wonders of the church is a cobblestone aspect that extends throughout the area.

Inside the building, you have the opportunity to admire the Mestizo Pulpit. It is a colonial work of great value to the city. It is carved from a single piece of cedar, with impressive characteristics. The information of interest that you should know about this temple is:

  • It was inaugurated in the year 1544 on the site of the ancient Inca temple of Thunder.
  • It is one of the simplest architectures in the entire city, but one of the oldest.
  • It was one of the churches with the greatest evangelizing potential among the indigenous community.
  • It is located at Ahuacpinta Street 659-A, Historic Center of Cusco.
  • To visit this church, it is necessary to pay an entrance fee from Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

4. Church and Convent of Santo Domingo

When it comes to diversity, the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo is one of the most important attractions to visit. One of its most significant features is that the construction was carried out on the bases of ancient Inca temples. It maintains much of the Inca aspect.

On the other hand, inside the church is the Qorikancha Museum, which stands out for its variety of local works from the Cusco School of Arts. It was inspired by contemporary style. Other relevant details you should know about this church in Cusco are:

  • It was inaugurated in the year 1633 and was rebuilt in 1982 after the damage caused by the earthquakes of 1650 and 1950, respectively.
  • It is located in the Plaza de San Blas in Cusco.
    • Monday to Saturday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm.
    • Sundays and holidays: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

5. Church and Monastery of Santa Catalina

The Church and Monastery of Santa Catalina is another stop you cannot miss during your visit to Cusco. Like most religious buildings, this church was also built on the bases of Inca temples. In 1605, the convent began to function with the reception of Melchora Clara Coya, a descendant of Huayna Capac.

In 1650, this church suffered significant damage as a result of the earthquake. Currently, it functions as a museum that can be visited by both locals and tourists. Some important facts about this monastery are:

  • It was founded in the year 1579.
  • It is located at Santa Catalina Angosta Street 401, Historic Center of Cusco.
  • The interior of the church has multiple works by local artists.
  • For entry, it is necessary to pay the ticket from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.

6. La Vid Church

La Vid Church in Cusco is one of the most recent constructions in the area. It is worth mentioning that it is an evangelical Christian temple that is part of the movement extended throughout the imperial city. They are part of the denomination "La Vid," so they have a presence in different countries around the world.

La Vid Church in Cusco bases its beliefs on the Bible and adheres to traditional Protestant doctrines. They emphasize the importance of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Some important facts about the church are:

  • It was founded in 1989 in the city of Cusco.
  • It offers worship services and prayer groups that visit homes.
  • It is located at Inti Raymi Street #155, San Sebastián, Cusco.
  • You can attend the church at the following times:
    • Monday: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
    • Tuesday: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
    • Tuesday and Thursday: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
    • Sundays: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

7. Temple and Convent of La Merced

In the last position on this list, but not the least important. We must mention Temple and Convent of La Merced. It is a structure dating back to the 16th century, and one of its most relevant attributes is its impressive ivory Christ, as well as a wide collection of Mercedarian canvases.

Formerly, this convent had a total of 4 cloisters. However, currently only two remain, and one of these is used as an educational institution. The construction style of the church has clear references to baroque architecture, making it a grand structure. Other significant details are:

  • It is located in Plaza Espinar, one block from Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
  • You can visit it by purchasing a ticket during the following hours:
    • Morning Shift: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.
    • Afternoon Shift: 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm.