The San Blas neighborhood, which is home to numerous art galleries, coffee shops, and even temples, is renowned as Cusco’s cultural centre. Therefore, a trip to Cusco wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the San Blas Neighborhood!
Below we have included some interesting facts about San Blas to help you plan on what to expect from this Bohemian Neighbourhood.
- The San Blas neighborhood has a long history that dates back to the Inca era. Back then, it was known as T’oqokachi. Which in Quechua means a place where various artisans and architects used to coexist peacefully while showcasing their extraordinary artistic talents.
- San Blas Cusco is also renowned as a historically significant location. Especially, due to the presence of the remains of an Inca chieftain named Pachacutec. He ordered the construction of the magnificent Machu Picchu.
- San Blas Cusco was completely transformed after the Spanish arrived. For instance, the original name T’oqokachi was changed to San Blas to commemorate a renowned bishop of the 3rd century. He was working as a healing person looking after people and animals.
- The neighborhood combines Inca and Spanish architectural styles, from its streets to its houses and neighborhood squares, creating a wonderful atmosphere.
- The San Blas Neighborhood is higher in elevation than the rest of Cusco. As a result, it is regarded as one of the best locations to take in a breathtaking view of the entire Cusco valley!
- The San Blas neighborhood that you see now was not always there. Rather, what you see here was constructed by the Spanish after they had destroyed the ancient temples and monuments.
- San Blas has many art galleries, of which the most notable being the Hilario Mendivil & Family Gallery. It displays artwork done by Hilario Mendivil. One of the most eye-catching being its religious representations with long necks that look similar to that of llamas and alpacas.
The San Blas neighborhood
- The San Blas Neighborhood is also home to Merida House. It includes European-style inspired artworks. The most notable of which is an indigenous portrayal of Jesus Christ and the faces of indigenous people who have suffered from oppression from the upper classes.
- The San Blas’ most famous attraction is the Plazoleta de San Blas. It is a tiny square in which you can explore and maybe take a rest after walking all day. The Hilario Mendivil & Family Gallery and the San Blas Temple are located nearby.
- The San Blas Neighborhood’s most beautiful place is the San Blas Temple. It has elegant architecture, and a pulpit engraved in cedar wood thought to have been done by local artists.
- The San Blas Neighborhood also has the San Blas Observatory. It is a must-see at sunset to take in the beautiful views of the Cusco Valley.
- San Blas Cusco is also a fantastic place to spend a day with friends or family. The ambiance is different with a bohemian feel. Simply unwind and have a nice cup of coffee in the morning. Try some locally inspired lunch, in the evening it becomes vibrant with many of the restaurants and pubs coming to life.