>> PERU WORLD HERITAGE

The city of Cusco

Declared a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1983

Cusco was developed by the Inca king Pachacutec, who ruled the Kingdom of Cusco as it expanded to become the Inca Empire in the 15th century. It became the most important city of the Inca Empire, divided into distinct areas for religious and administrative use, and surrounded by an organized system of agriculture, artisan, and industrial uses. After the Spanish conquered the empire in the 16th century, they built Baroque churches and buildings over the Inca ruins.

Machu Picchu

Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site also in 1983

At 2340 metres above sea level, the site of Machu Picchu was constructed as an expansive mountain estate around the middle of the 15th century, and abandoned approximately 100 years later. It includes walls, terraces, and buildings constructed from rock. The city was home to about 1200 people, mostly priests, women, and children. It was left abandoned prior to the Spanish arrival in Cusco most likely due to smallpox.

The temple or fortress of Chavin de Huantar

Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 1985

The Chavín culture developed in the Andean highlands between 1500 and 300 BC, and the site now known as Chavín de Huantar served as the center. The site consists of a complex of terraces and squares cut from rock. It is believed the Chavín were primarily a religious-based society whose influence resulted from their culture, rather than aggressive expansion.

The Huascaran National Park

Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1985

Huascarán National Park is located in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of the Andes. It surrounds Huascarán, the tallest peak in Peru. The physical environment includes glaciers, ravines, and lakes, while the park is home to several regional animal species.

Chan Chan is another of the 10 sites

Inscribed as World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO, this in 1986

The city of Chan Chan served as the capital of the Chimú culture. The Chimú kingdom developed along the coast of northern Peru. Chan Chan is divided into nine walled units indicating political and social division. The Chimú were conquered by the Inca in 1470. The site was listed to the list of sites in danger when it was first inscribed, as the adobe constructions are easily damaged by heavy rain and erosion.

The Manu National Park

Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1987

The park spreads over 1500000 hectares and from 150 metres to 4200 metres above sea-level. Manú is home to 1000 bird species, over 200 species of mammals (100 of which are bats), and over 15000 species of flowering plants. Prior to being recognized as a World Heritage site in 1987, it was designated as a biosphere reserve in 1977.

Lima's Historical Centre

Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 1991

Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535 as La Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings). Until the middle of the 18th century, it was the most important city in Spanish South America. The architecture and decoration combine the style of both the local population and Europe, such as in the Monastery of San Francisco, which was the site's original listing in 1988, before it was extended in 1991.

The Rio Abiseo National Park

Inscribed as a World Natural Heritage in 1990

The park was created in 1983 in order to protect the region's rainforest habitat. The park is home to many endemic species such as the Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey, which was thought to be extinct. The site is also listed under cultural criteria, as over 30 Pre-Columbian sites have been discovered since 1985.

The Nasca Lines and the Pampas de Juma

Declared a World Heritage site in 1994

The large designs in the Nasca Desert are believed to have been created by the Nasca culture between 400 and 650 AD. They were created by scratching lines into the ground surface. Designs include animals such as a monkey and hummingbird, plants, and geographic shapes on a large scale. It is believed that they served a ritualistic purpose.

Arequipa's Historical Centre

Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 2000

Arequipa is built primarily on top of sillar, a white volcanic rock, the product of nearby El Misti volcano. The architecture of the city is known for its combination of traditional indigenous styles with the new techniques of the European colonial settlers.

Caral

Declared a World Cultural Heritage in 2009

The archaeological site belonged to the Norte Chico civilization that inhabited the area during the Late Archaic period. Caral is one of 18 complex urban settlements in the region and features many monuments and pyramids. Caral is the earliest known American settlement. A quipu recovered from the site demonstrates its influence on later Andean cultures.

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