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Inca Empire

Cuzco City

History >> Aztec, Maya, and Inca for Kids

Cuzco was the capital and birthplace of the Inca Empire. The emperor, or Sapa Inca, lived in a palace in Cuzco. His top leaders and closest advisors also lived there.

Where is Cuzco located?

Cuzco is located in the Andes Mountains of what is today southern Peru. It sits high in the mountains at an elevation of 11,100 feet (3,399 meters) above sea level.

When was Cuzco founded?

Cuzco was founded by Manco Capac around 1200 AD. He established the Kingdom of Cuzco as a city-state that ruled the surrounding lands.

Center of the Inca Empire

In 1438 Pachacuti became the Sapa Inca of the Inca people. He greatly expanded the lands that Cuzco controlled. Soon Cuzco was the center of the vast Inca Empire.

Who lived in the city of Cuzco?

The city of Cuzco was a place for nobles to live during the Inca Empire. Commoners did not live in the city. The only exceptions were the servants of the nobles as well as artisans and builders who were working on buildings or other items for the nobles.

Many of the high ranking nobles were required to live in Cuzco. Even the governors of the four major regions of the empire were required to have a home in Cuzco and to live one fourth of the year in the city.

The most important person that lived in Cuzco was the emperor, or Sapa Inca. He lived in a huge palace with his family and queen, the coya.

The Buildings of Cuzco
Giant walls in a row at the Sacsayhuaman ruins of Cusco
Walls of the Sacsayhuaman ruin at Cusco by Bcasterline

Interesting Facts about the Inca city of Cuzco

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