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As the Tawantinsuyo capital it was the biggest and the most important metropolis in the entire continent. It must have been a pleasant city organized according to the traditional planning. The data regarding the population it housed during its apogee are not clear since it was estimated based on superficial or imaginary information collected by the first chroniclers. In 1543, the Spanish soldier and secretary of Pizarro, Pedro Sancho de la Hoz, wrote that over 100,000 houses had been found in the city. Based on that it was inferred that the population amounted to 300,000 inhabitants, approximately distributed in 126,000 persons for the urban zone and about 100,000 for the rural zone, in other words, the Tawantinsuyo capital had a total population of 225,000 inhabitants approximately.
 
 
Historical Information Introduction
History of Cusco
Tahuantinsuyo
  - Incan Society
  - Background:
      * The Conquest
      * The Rebellion
        of Manco Inca

      * The XVIII
        Century
Incan Architecture
      * Stone
      * Adobe
Planification
Inca City Description
The Incan Center
Fue una ciudad planificada y construida tal como la pensó el Inca Pachacútec para reemplazar a la aldea alrededor de la ciénaga y herbazal que allí había. La historia dice que tras canalizar el río Saphi, desecar el pantano y construir la ciudad, el Inca repartió los solares con la edificación ya hecha a las panacas o familia real. Pero también localizó los componentes de la infraestructura pública. Las cuatro grandes callancas (cuarto o casa de piedra labrada) en los bordes de la plaza pudieron ser parte de esa infraestructura. Por su dimensión y forma no fueron aptas para usos residenciales.

Quechua designers used the resources and knowledge inherited from other cultures. They improved the use of their geography in order to establish a system of human payment, improve the communications creating a network of roads, housing and substructures.

Before the construction of any building, palace, temple, town or city; the Quechuas carried out a physical planning process that was intended to insure the success for the future. First they made some sketches, plans, models and maquettes, and as measuring systems they used scales mostly based on the anthropometry (measures related to the human body: arms, elbows, feet, steps, palms, etc.). There is a great amount of maquettes almost in all the archaeological museums of the country, as a proof of this advancement.

The city planning resulted from their pragmatism, their economic and authority sense, together with the aforementioned principles of Bi, Tri and Four partition, symmetry, opposition, repetition and subordination. Besides this, we should take into account their integration with nature, due to which the Inca Society characterized by an eminent ecology.

However, the city was also characterized by certain aspects related to its deep religiousness: the Pachamama (Mother of the Earth), Apus and Aukis (Spirits of Mountains and Valleys), Wakas (Temples). The Incas, being a cultivation society, maintained the lands in good conditions without misusing them for their main activities, the temples and towns were constructed on rustic grounds.

The city of Cusco was divided into two big groups by a line made up by the roads that went towards the Antisuyo and Contisuyo, that is, the current streets of Triunfo, Hatun Rumiyoq, Cuesta San Blas, and at the other end, the streets of Marqués, Santa Clara and Hospital.

In the urban plan, to the south, we can find the Urin Qosqo, which is a modification of "Uran Qosqo" ("Low or Inferior Cusco"); the preferred place for personalities from the Tawantinsuyo founder, Manko Qhapaq to the fifth governor Qhapaq Yupanqui; to the north, the Hanan Qosqo, a modified form of "Hawan Qosqo" ("Upper Cusco"), was inhabited by the dynasty as of Inka Roqa, the sixth governor Inca.

The four sectors constituted correspond to the four nations of Tawantinsuyo; twelve blocks that resulted from the division of each sector in three parts; and the subdivision of each block in three: Collana, Payan and Cayao. Hanan was more important than Urin, whereas Chinchaysuyo was the opposite of Collasuyo, and Consituyo opposed to Contisuyo.

Starting in the north and following the direction of the clock hands, the 12 districts into which the city was divided were:
  1. Qolqanpata or "District of the Storages", currently San Cristóbal.


  2. Kantupata or "Kantu Flores District" ("Kantu": Peurvian national flower)


  3. Pumakurko, or the "Puma's backbone"


  4. T'oqokachi or "Salt lacking in substance", the main street currently located in San Blas;


  5. Munay Senqa or the "Pretty Nose" district, located at Recoleta;


  6. Rimaq Pampa or the "Talking Square", currently called Limaqpampa;


  7. Pumaq Chupan or the "Puma's Tail", located in front of the Savoy Hotel;


  8. K'ayao Cachi or "Salt Formation" in the Qoripata district;


  9. Ch'akill Chaka, which corresponds to the current blocks of Santiago and Belen;


  10. Piqchu, which still means "summit or mountain"


  11. K'illipata or "District of the Kestrel" (k'illichu = sparrow's hawk) situated at Piqchu, Santa Ana district;


  12. Wakapunku or "Door of the Temple", which is currently the Saphi street.



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