The city of Cusco has one hundred and three (103) historical buildings classified as Monuments, highlighting within this categorization the house of the Inka Garcilaso de la Vega, a building where the facilities of the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco currently operate, declared as a Historical Monument of Peru .
The construction of this emblematic property dates from the 16th century, corresponding to civil buildings of minor palaces or large houses from the colonial era. Erected on platforms from the Inka period, which made up the Plaza Cusipata, the Spanish Jesuit chronicler Bernabé Cobo mentions that the house is located on the fourth huaca of the eighth ceque towards Chinchaysuyo, in that sense it is important to consider the use of this space since that time. pre Hispanic.
Built by Pedro de Oñate, it preserves part of the Inca terraces on its façade. After his death, the property passed into the hands of Captain Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega, father of the illustrious mestizo writer Inka Garcilaso de la Vega.
The emblem of the Blue Shield has its origins in the Hague Convention, carried out by UNESCO in 1957, whose main function is to mark or signal recognized historical architectural monuments and provide protection in the event of armed conflicts, natural disasters, as well as support in post-crisis situations.
In our country there are historical buildings of great cultural value and that now enjoy special protection thanks to the blue shield. The monuments of the city of Cusco for years have been without this important emblem. However, at the initiative of the authorities of the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco, our city will have the high honor of wearing the first emblem since May 5, 2021 in the house of the distinguished mestizo chronicler Inka Garcilaso de la Vega. A property in which the facilities of the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco are located and will enjoy the special protection of the blue shield; whose placement will be with the consent of international and national organizations, with the official recognition of UNESCO, the Peruvian Committee of the Blue Shield, ICOM and the Municipality of Cusco. This is a first step that will lead to the marking of more cultural monuments for their protection.
It has its origins in the Viceregal Museum, decreeing its creation through D.S. Nº 1335 of April 30, 1946. It begins its exhibition with donations from the Concha Ibérico family, operating in the premises of the former Mutual Society of Employees.
Later he moved to the house of the Four Busts in the street of San Agustín (today Hotel Libertador). Considering the importance of the collections, the National Institute of Culture acquires the Casa del Inka Garcilaso de la Vega, allowing the Vice-Royal Museum to be upgraded as a Regional Historical Museum through R.S. Nº 207, dated March 1, 1967.
After the seismic movements of 1986 and 1989, the National Institute of Culture delegated the architect Alcides Enríquez Peláez, to carry out structural consolidation work and integral intervention of the roofs of the colonial house, adapting the property for use as a museum, where it was included Consolidation works on the stone and brick arches, the quincha wall of the second level that overlooks Heladeros street was renewed, as well as a large part of the wooden carpentry. After this restoration, the museum continues to function in this place.
On the other hand, the importance acquired years ago of this property allowed it to be categorized as domestic civil architecture, through Supreme Resolution No. 485-1957-ED dated 12/09/1957. In 1963, the Ministry of Education expropriated the Luna Oblitas family property to carry out restoration work between 1964 and 1966, by the architect Víctor Pimentel Gurmendi and the Cusco architect Torres Ballón.
In 1967, through Ministerial Resolution No. 1167, the operation of the Regional Historical Museum was established; Years later it became part of the National Cultural Institute, operating the Departmental Archive. The same year on December 9, the building is declared a National Monument through R.S. No. 485-57-ED.
Due to its architectural characteristics and location, the building was a reference for travelers, scientists and explorers who passed through Cusco between the 19th and 20th centuries. In the book by Ephraim G. Squier (1877) "A trip through Inca lands" he presents a drawing of the front of the house, as it looked in the second half of the 19th century. Consequently, in the 1950 earthquake, the building suffered serious damage until the façade collapsed.
After the arrival of the Spanish and the distribution of lots, in 1534 the Garcilaso House was built by Pedro de Oñate, preserving part of the Inca terraces on its façade. After his death, the property passed into the hands of Captain Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega, father of our illustrious writer, Inka Garcilaso de la Vega.
Throughout four centuries, this house had different owners, who adapted the facades, interiors and doors, according to the needs and uses (warehouses, housing and commercial premises). A factor that contributed to these adjustments were the earthquakes of the 1650s, 1950s and 1986 that struck the city of Cusco.
There is no record of the state and reconstruction of the house caused by the 1650 earthquake, however there are references that at the end of the 18th century, the first galleries were built in Cusco houses, which were not frequent; In relation to the Garcilaso house, one of them was built, keeping the central patio as the main environment, being the axis of the functions of the house.
The construction dates from the 16th century, corresponding to the civil buildings of minor palaces or large houses from the colonial era. It was built on Inca platforms that made up the Kusipata square; Bernabé Cobo maintains that during the government of the Inka Huayna Qhapaq the fourth huaca of the eighth ceque towards Chinchaysuyo was established in this place.
The museum's headquarters is the house of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Chimpo Ocllo, whose real name was Gómez Suárez de Figueroa. He was the son of a Spanish conqueror and an Inca princess, granddaughter of Tupac Yupanqui.
Garcilaso lived in this house until he was 20 years old. When his father died he traveled to Lima and after several incidents he arrived in Spain. During his time in Cusco he was educated in Inca culture and customs.
In his most famous work, "Royal Comments of the Incas" (nine volumes), of 1609, Garcilaso exposes, in addition to the origin, history and traditions of the Incas, his own contradictions regarding the conquest and its consequences in the Peru. His intention was to tell the true story of the Spanish conquest, which he believed the chroniclers of the time did not do. In fact, this book was banned in Spain from 1781, because it was considered dangerous for colonial interests.
The house was built at the end of the 16th century on the platforms of the Plaza Cusipata or Plaza del Regocijo, one of the parts into which the Plaza Huacaypata was divided after the conquest. The Andalusian-style construction is on two levels, with arches and columns and a large central patio.
The Museum was created in 1946 and had different locations, until in 1967 the National Institute of Culture bought the Inca Garcilaso's house.
The permanent exhibition is displayed on two levels and thirteen rooms.
In the first level archaeological objects are presented from prehistory to the Inca period inclusive: fossil remains, ceramics, textiles, tools, musical instruments, found in excavations carried out in Vilcabamba, Sacsayhuamán, Pikillaqta.
The second level corresponds to the viceregal and republican times and furniture, paintings, coins, wooden reliefs, sculptures and paintings from the Cusco School are exhibited. There is even a space dedicated to pisco, a drink of ancestral origin whose origin is disputed between Chile and Peru.
There is also a contemporary art room, dedicated mainly to Cusco artists.
Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 18:00.
It is one of the attractions included in the Tourist Ticket, which has a cost of 130S per person.
On foot: from Plaza de Armas (3 minutes).