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Colonial Cuenca

Posted by Susanna On December - 1 - 2010

It is easy to forget about time while walking through the old streets of Cuenca. All over the place you will find the loveliest restored colonial houses and a lot of churches or cathedrals – one more pompous than the other. Therefore the center is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Trust site. This city which its full name Santa Ana de los cuatro ríos de Cuenca is definitely one of the most beautiful colonial cities of the world ad at the same time the third biggest in Ecuador. It is located in the southern highlands at above 2500m (8200ft) above sea level. Named was Cuenca around 1557 but first settlements go back to 8060 BC. Later the indigenous people the Cañari settled which were conquered by the Incas which called it Tomebamba. For the Inca it became as same important like Cusco in Peru and was considered a candidate for the mythical city of gold which the Spanish called El Dorado. In 1557 Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, then Viceroy of Peru had commissioned the founding and ordered the city named after his home town of Cuenca, Spain. Nowadays according to the latest numbers about 467,000 people live here.

The Old Cathedral of Cuenca, or El Sagrario, was constructed 1557, the same year that the town of Cuenca was founded. Its location is on ancient Inca ruins.

El Sagrario / Old Cathedral of Cuenca


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