Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Cusco, Peru
I cannot emphasize how amazing this cathedral was. All the religious art inside was created by the local people under the thumb of the Spanish invaders. As a result the art is a unique and beautiful fusion of what the artists thought the Spaniards were talking about, having no inherent Catholic reference point. Local traditions, imagery and concepts work their way into the Catholic icons, paintings and architecture. And it is HUGE and so crazy over the top ornate, Baroque taken to the extreme. The wood carvings alone are worth the trip to Peru.
Much to my continued frustration, you cannot take photos inside the cathedrals. The things I saw in there…wow. The sculptures of Christ are so bloody it’s ridiculous, and the ornamentation of the saints and their shrines are breathtaking.
The cathedral (as with most all the other churches and monestaries) was built over the foundation of the most prestigious Incan temple, Kiswarkancha, as a way for the Spanish to eradicate what they considered pagan blasphemies, and to assimilate the local population.
I had to content myself with shooting the outside of the church, and this little corner hidden in the shadows was my favorite.
I want to mention that I was born in Peru, but had never been in the Andes mountains. My mother had been to Cusco a couple of times before, but she had never visited Machu Picchu. It was a great family trip.