Regional historical museum of Cusco
The regional historical museum of Cusco is one of the most emblematic cultural centers of the ancient Inca capital. It is located in the colonial house where the famous Peruvian writer and chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega lived. It exhibits thirteen rooms where the history of Cuzco is explained in a didactic way, from its prehistoric origins to the colonial period through Inca history. The visit to this site is included in the ‘Cusco Tourist Ticket 2’ (includes other museums and archaeological sites).
All about the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco
The regional historical museum of Cusco through its thirteen rooms exposes the history of the Cusco region, from its prehistoric times (presence of dinosaurs in the Andes) to the colonial era, where the figure of the chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega stands out. Precisely, the museum is located in the colonial house of the famous Peruvian writer, that is why the site is also called ‘Casa Garcilaso’.
The museum has 13 rooms that show in a didactic way the different historical stages of Cusco, from prehistoric times (highlights the fossil remains of a glyptodon and a mammoth) to the colonial era where the arts with religious themes were developed. For the valuable pieces that are exhibited and for the educational material it offers; The ‘Casa Garcilaso’ museum is one of the best in Cuzco.
The regional historical museum is located on Garcilaso street in Cusco, just a few steps from the Main Square and the Square of Regocijo.
How to get?
The easiest way to get to the museum is on foot. You can go on foot from any part of the Historic Center of Cusco. Another option is to go by taxi. From the Main Square you must walk less than 200 meters.
Map to get to the Regional Historical Museum
Who was the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega?
Goméz Suárez de Figueroa, also known as Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, was a Cusco chronicler son of the Spanish captain Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega and of the Inca princess Isabel Chimpu Ocllo. He was born in 1539, into a family with many Andean customs that included learning the Quechua language, the language of the Incas. He knew how to assimilate his Spanish and Andean heritages. His most important work is: Royal Comments of the Incas, a work of great historical value. He died in Spain in 1616. He is one of the most illustrious Cusco figures in history.
The museum and its rooms
Dinosaurs in Cusco – Room dedicated to life in the Cusco region during prehistory. The exhibition of fossil remains of a glyptodon and a mammoth stand out. Its parts have been restored. They were discovered in the province of Acomayo.
Pre-Inca Cusco – Room that exposes the presence of the Cusco man before the Incas. Didactic models, photographs of archaeological remains, as well as a rock shelter with more than 10,000 years old (one of the oldest in America) stand out.
Wari Culture in Cusco – This room is dedicated to the Wari culture, the most important empire of Peru before the Incas. Didactic material of Wari archaeological sites in Cusco is exposed, such as: Vilcabamba, Espíritu Santo and Piquillacta.
The Incas – The fourth room offers the visitor an idea of the development reached by the Incas in metallurgy, pottery and, mainly, stonework. In this space, the sample of the ‘Qoa’ stone in Sacsayhuaman stands out, which would have shaped the city of Cusco in Inca times.
Inca pottery – The room exhibits a sample of Inca pottery and its different forms: the aribal, the ceremonial plate, the keros, etc. A ceramic with the figure of the ‘Suche’ stands out, a jungle river fish that is also called ‘catfish’ (it was discovered in the Sacsayhuaman region).
Cusco Agriculture – This room shows the reach of the Incas in agriculture. The presence of instruments such as the ‘chaqitaqlla’ stands out, which was used to plow the land. The Incas were characterized by the construction of platforms or ecological floors ideal for agricultural experimentation.
Inca and Colonial Gods – This room deals with the Inca religion and the process of transition towards the new Christian faith that was imposed by the Spanish during the conquest. An explanation of the transit of the Inca lightning god ‘Illapa’ to become the Apostle Santiago stands out. The room also includes a sample of Inca pottery during the Vilcabamba resistance (1536 to 1572).
Art during the colony – This room exhibits colonial canvases made by the famous ‘Cusco school’ of art. Some works by the artist Bernardo Bitti stand out, who sought to evangelize the people of Cusco through art. Also noteworthy are works by the Mendivil family, whose main characteristic is the elongated necks of their works.
Gastronomy in Colonial Art – This room shows some canvases from the ‘Cusco school’ with religious themes but with Andean details. A picture of the Last Supper stands out with the ‘vizcacha’ as the main dish. There is also a sample of the historical route of Peruvian pisco, which has been on maps since 1615.
Saints of Peru – This room exhibits some canvases with portraits of the most famous saints of Cusco and Peru such as: Santa Rosa de Lima, the Lord of Huanca, the Lord of the Earthquakes (Taitacha de los Tremors), San Antonio Abad , among others.
The revolution of Túpac Amaru – This room is dedicated to one of the martyrs of the independence of Peru, the Cusco cacique Túpac Amaru II, who was dismembered by his Spanish captors in 1781. The room keeps the cross in which the leader was dismembered indigenous. It includes a summary of the film ‘Túpac Amaru’ by the Cusco director Federico García.
Life in colonial times – This room exposes the customs and customs of a wealthy family during the viceroyalty of Peru. Some exhibited objects such as mirrors, tableware, cabinets, pictures and other utensils for daily use stand out. The ‘Casa Garcilaso’ still has a colonial architecture in good condition.
The Inca Garcilaso de la Vega – The last room is dedicated to the Cusco chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, son of the Spanish captain Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega and the Inca princess Isabel Chimpu Ocllo. A life-size sculpture of the writer stands out.
How much does the visit cost?
The entrance is included in the Tourist Ticket of Cusco 2, which has a cost of 70 Peruvian soles (22 US dollars). This ticket, in addition to the regional historical museum, includes a visit to: contemporary art museum, popular art museum, Coricancha site museum, Qosqo center of native art, monument to the Inca Pachacutec as well as the archaeological sites of Piquillacta and Tipón.
Hours of Operation
From Monday to Sunday from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.
Photos of the regional historical museum of Cusco
The regional historical museum was created in 1946 although its final location in the ‘Casa Garcilaso’ was only in 1967 when the National Institute of Culture acquired the colonial house of this famous character.
The architecture of the ‘Casa Garcilaso’ stands out for its Andalusian style with arches, columns, central patios and wide spaces decorated with canvases from the famous ‘Cusco school’ of art. The house was built in the 16th century, on the Inca square of Huacaypata (today Square of Regocijo).
If you like Inca history, definitely one of the books that you can purchase during your visit to Cusco is ‘The Royal Commentaries of the Incas’ by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. He is one of the most widely read chroniclers by Peruvians.
Take advantage of your visit to the city of Cusco to visit the regional historical museum as well as other museums such as: the pre-Columbian art museum, the Inka museum, the Coricancha site museum, the Machu Picchu museum of Casa Concha, the art museum contemporary and others.