A Comparative of Cusco and The Chesapeake Bay


Cusco is a city located in the middle of a mountain valley which once was full of melted glacial water. Here, we learned about the city and also the Incas who once lived here in their scattered sacred lands and temples. The incas had a way of influencing the land and resources to shape their community. There is a river that runs through Cusco cut out in the shape of a Puma which was a symbol of life to the Incas. The Incan’s used a lot environmental figures as symbols for their culture. The sun symbolized all living things. They created temples made from all gold as a way to represent the sun. Qorikancha, also known as the Gold Temple was made from stone but plated in gold. But in 1532, the Spanish arrived in Cusco and invaded the Incan’s sacred land. The temples were destroyed and the gold was kept and melted down to rebuild churches on top. It was smart of the Spanish to have built their churches on top of the Incan temples because the Incan’s had figured out a great architectural design for building the walls to be earthquake proof. In the 1950s, an earthquake struck the city of cusco and ruined 80% of the city. The only structures that remained intake were the Incan parts of the buildings. Sense than, the buildings had been reconstructed still influenced by the Spanish design.

Although architecture is a product of culture and ideas, it also reflects cultural origins. Much like the structures in Williamsburg, Virginia and towns along the Chesapeake bay are influenced by an invading culture. Georgian architecture was founded when colonizers came across from England to settle along the Chesapeake bay. What is unique about this architecture is that the houses where always symmetrical. This symbolized status. Materials on the exteriors of the houses can change due to resources but the function and space utilized usually remain similar. Stretching from Williamsburg to the mouth of the Susquehanna River change in material design. Williamsburg used bricks made from clay where as around the Susquehanna, they used stones. This was because the resources were more prevalent during that time and from that time period, houses are built the same way.

To the incas, large stones that they reshaped where there “style of architecture” because it made sense to build from resources that were more beneficial. In there case, the large stones where more beneficial for building but as soon as the Spanish moved in, they decided to use the clay because it was much more like their home architecture back in Spain but this than resulted in disaster due to all the earthquakes. This is an example of how new and different cultures can influence architecture in a different region in the world. Sometimes, like along the bay, the style stays the same and others, like in cusco, it may not be the best decision but is still influenced by a new culture.




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