A much simpler Adobe Church set in a beautiful plaza. what it lacks for ornateness on the outside is made up for in the wonderful wood carved alter on the inside. The church sits in a little local square uphill (north) of the Plaza de Armas.
Nice plaza filled with shops, restaurants and night clubs. There is also an open air market that is held here during the day. its a steep 4-5 block walk uphill from the plaza de Armas to get to this plaza but well worth the effort.
Barrio de San Blas is one of Cusco's oldest neighborhoods. The parish church on Plaza San Blas was built in 1563, only a 30 years after the Spanish conquest. It is often described as the most picturesque area in the city, and after having spent the better part of an evening wandering through its charming cobblestone streets, I must agree with this assessment. It's quite a hike to get up to the most scenic sites, and if you've only just arrived in Cusco and are still experiencing the shortness of breath that comes with being at such a high altitude, you might be wondering whether it's worth walking up the hill, but trust me, it is! Not only do you get to enjoy some fantastic views of the city, but San Blas's lovely whitewashed houses will make you think you've just landed in Greece :o) The area is also known for its scores of artists and artisans, whose arts and handicrafts are sold in small shops or on Plaza San Blas. There definitely is a bohemian feel to the whole area, which I would compare to the one found in Paris's Montmartre.
Thsi is the artisan centre of Cusco and centred around the Plaza de San Blas. From Plaza de Armas take Triunfo and head uphill for about 10 minutes. The square has a lovely waterfall, the Iglesia de San Blas (one of the oldest churches in Cusco), shops and art galleries and local folk selling their wares.
Rather than walk up from the Plaza de Armas, take a taxi for a few Sol and wander back down the hill.
Today San Blas is known as the Artists' District. There is a little square with a lovely waterfall. Next to the square is Iglesia de San Blas (Church of Saint Blaise). It is a simple adobe church with a single nave and one of the oldest churches in Cusco possibly 1544 but records are unclear. Over the years the original adobe has been reinforced with stone work especially after earthquakes. The bell tower was replaced after the earthquake of 1950.
The little church is the home of one of the jewels in the crown of Latin American colonial art. The pulpit has been intricately carved from a single cedar tree trunk. It was carved in the 17th century but agin records are unclear as to who was the artist and how long the project took to complete.
Unfortunately photography (flash and no flash) is not permitted.
Entrance is 15 Sol (2011) and is not on the Tourist Ticket.
Take a taxi to San Blas for a few Sol and wander down the streets to Plaza de Armas
Although this little curch might not look like much from the outside, I would challenge people to give it a chance! It's situated in the heart of the San Blas quarters, right next to the Plaza de San Blas, and in fact this is one of the first churches in the city of Cusco. The most interesting part of the church is obviously the inside, where you will find a pulpit made out of one single piece of mahogany, and which is considered as one of the maximum expressions of colonial barroque in Cusco. The pulpit as well as the altar are quite impressive, unfortunately there were no pictures allowed inside. The entrance to see the church will cost (it's not included in the boleto turístico), but it's not too expensive.
San Blas is the more bohemian part in the city of Cusco. It's a bit up-hill, so might be a bit more tiring to get there the first day. In San Blas you'll find plenty of very picturesque streets, squares, and plenty of art shops, restaurants and bars. Definitelly a nice place to enjoy the more alternative atmosphere of the city.
This is a great walk to do . It's a steep walk from the Paza de Armas. The steets are narrow and from the top you catch a good view of the city . Lots of little bars and restaurants and shops along the way.
There an old adobe church you'll see too called Iglesia se san Blas.
We're told to watch our belongings but had no problem at all. the most we ran into were some children posing for pictures for some coin.
We particularly enjoyed this part of Cusco. It's got a pretty white church and a lot of small galleries and craft workshops, including several where you can watch the artists and craftspeople at work. There was a relaxing atmosphere in the square and we found a funky cafe selling great smoothies and generously filled sandwiches (above the church and to the right a little).
This is a good place to come to unwind and escape the crowds, although you have to climb a rather steep hill to get here - not easy at this altitude! But there are several interesting shops on the way, so take your time and look around.
This is a typical charming quarter up the hill north of Plaza de Armas. The heart of it is San Blas church, in the square of San Blas. There are not outstanding museums or churches here, but the tiny alleys are a good place to wander around early in the morning when it is not yet busy and crowded.
A lot of slopes and stairs here, so take it easy. A good way to visit it is to take a taxi (1-2 soles) to the top (Plaza de San Blas) and return walking downhill to Plaza de Armas.
In late January there was fiesta in San Blas lasting many days. The fiesta was focused around San Blas church, celebrating the Virgin of the Good Event. Every evening firework, and music playing all the time. In the street restaurant I had a great asado, but they did not have any pisco. That you get from neighbor restaurant.
This adobe church located in the Barrio de San Blas is the oldest parish church in Cusco. It has a pretty gold-leafed altar, but it most impressive feature is its cedar pulpit which was carved from one tree trunk! I stared at it for awhile admiring all its intricate features. You aren't allowed to take pictures inside the church so I bought a postcard of the pulpit.
Admission is by the tourist ticket.