The ancient center of the Inca empire, Cusco is located in the southeastern An22des. Its name in Quechua means "navel of the world." According to legend, the city was founded by the first Incas who were born in the mysterious waters of Lake Titicaca: Manco Capac, known as the Prince of the Sun, and Mama Ocllo.
The Inca architecture in Cusco is thought to date back to the 15th century, and is mostly attributed to the Inca Pachacutec, who built the cityâ€™s most remarkable structures. Inca architecture is known for its incredible stone carvings, walls constructed of huge stones that have been fit together perfectly without the use of mortar or cement. For a civilization that did not yet have the wheel, this was an amazing feat of engineering. In Cusco, some of these constructions include the complex of Sacsayhuaman; Korikancha (The Temple of the Sun); and Calle Hatun Rumiyoc, the incredible diorite wall that includes the famous stone of 12 angles. Cusco is known as the archaeological capital of the Americas, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.