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Peru Images

Photos from Peru - Andes Mountains Images - The Empire of the Incas - South America Photographs

Peru has a total surface of 1,285,000 km2 (496,190 mi2), making it the twentieth-largest country in the world. There is a great diversity of geographic regions in the country: the high Altiplano valley between the Western and Eastern Andean mountain chains, the Amazon rainforest, the desert region along the Pacific Ocean, the Atacama Desert being the driest place on earth. In the south, in the Puno region of Peru, it shares Lake Titicaca with Bolivia. Of note are the Uros Floating Islands ones shown on the photographs are completely made of tortora reed? The indios who live there, build their houses with this reed as well as their famous tortora boats. Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca is another interesting place in that the inhabitants dress in gown, the Spanish brought to them centuries ago.

Llamas and alpacas are animals that can live in the high mountain regions and the Altiplano of Peru, and are raised by the local farmers primarily for their wool. Llamas can only carry 24 kg and are therefore not suitable for transportation.
Three languages are spoken in Peru. Spanish is the official language, but Quechua, which was the language of the Incas, is widely spoken as is Aymara.
Peru was settled at least 20,000 years ago. Old cultural remains can be found everywhere i.e the Pukara culture. However it was the Incas that created the largest empire in pre-Columbian times, also the photographs show, that only remains of the Inca culture are preserved. Cusco was its capital. The superior god of the Incas was the sun god called Inti. The Incas built an impressive transportation system throughout their empire.

One of the best known monuments left by the Incas is Machu Picchu, which is located 70 km (44 mi) northwest of Cusco, high in the mountains above the Urubamba River. It was inhabited only for a very short time but was all forgotten until the American Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911 and made it famous. To get there you have to pass the Corao Valley and the Valley of the Incas.

In Cusco itself, one can photograph many of the Spanish colonial buildings having been built on old Inca foundations. The precision of the stonework the Incas left behind is absolutely astounding. The huge boulders and stones fit together so that no razor blade can fit in between them. They did not use mortar. These Inca structures survived the earthquakes and other natural calamities much better than the later Spanish architecture. Other magnificent Inca ruins can be found at Racqui and Ollantaytambo.

Cusco today is an imposing city full of colonial architecture such as the Compania de Jesus and the Convento de su Merced. Outside Cusco is the fabulously decorated San Pedro Church in Andahuaylillas. Some of these buildings are pictured on the photographs.

The Spanish under Francisco Pizarro were attracted to the riches of gold and silver in Peru they had heard about. Taking advantage of a civil war among the Incas, they outwitted their kings and claimed Peru for Spain in 1532. Even among the Spanish, a short civil war among rival factions ensued, which ended in the Battle of Las Salinas with a final peace deal signed in La Paz, now the Capital of Bolivia. Many in the local Indian population died because they had not immunization against the sicknesses, the Spaniards brought to their shores.
Peru gained its independence from Spain in 1821 after long military campaigns by Simon Bolivar among others.