May 27, 2018
machu picchu – day1
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The main plaza in Cusco, with is magnificent Baroque cathedral, is so like the piazzas in Caltagirone, Catania, Modica, Noto, Ragusa and Scicli – the towns in the Valle di Noto. Both locations are magnificent examples of Spanish Baroque architecture. Here in Cusco, the facades of the convents, churches, basilicas are brown stone; in Sicily it’s the white rock, the tuffa stone, that is everywhere in Italy.
The Spanish, under Francisco Pizarro, with the Battle of Cajamarca in 1532, ambushed and captured Atahualpa – Emperor of the Inca Empire. It was the first step in a long campaign to subdue the mightiest empire in the Americas. To cement their control over the people, the Inca Empire’s central city – Cusco – was rebuild in the Spanish Baroque style.
Frank pointed out that Columbus’ first voyage in 1492 began the Spanish expansion in the Americas. And it would be 100 years before France and England joined the rush to conquer the New World. Imagine, for 100 years, Spain had sole access to the treasures and resources in the Americas.
In the seventeen century, the Spanish ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. After a devastating earthquake in January of 1693, in south-eastern Sicily, the Spanish sent architects to the region to rebuild the devastated cities in the Baroque style.