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Regional Historical Museum of Cusco - House of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

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Regional Historical Museum of Cusco - House of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

Located in the colonial house of the illustrious Cusco writer and chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega Chimpuocllo, the building dates from the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century and was inhabited by Garcilaso until 1560, the year in which he definitively left for Spain. It was built on the Inca platforms that formed the Plaza Cusipata. Regarding the building, the typology shows an influence of an Andalusian civil building, developing from a central courtyard, a gallery of semicircular arches, stone balconies in the east bay and wooden balconies in the rest of the bays on the second level. It was intervened with restoration processes after the earthquakes of 1650, 1950 and 1986.



It was the home of the renowned Cusco chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Chimpu Ocllo. It has 13 rooms on the first level and is in the process of being implemented, with paleontological and archaeological objects from pre-Hispanic times, on the second level, cultural assets from the vice-royal, republican and contemporary periods are exhibited.


History of the house of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega

The construction of this emblematic property dates from the 16th century, corresponding to civil constructions of minor palaces or mansions from the colonial era. Erected on platforms of the Inka period, which made up the Cusipata square, 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.


History of the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco

It has its origins in the Viceregal Museum, its creation being decreed by 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.


Century XVI

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.


Century XVIII

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).


One 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 setting, being the axis of the functions of the house.


19th and 20th centuries

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. Civil architecture 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 property of the Luna Oblitas family, 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 Institute of Cultural, operating the Departmental Archive. The same year on December 9, the building is declared a National Monument through R.S. No. 485-57-ED. The institution The Regional Historical Museum of Cusco Casa del Inka Garcilaso de la Vega, 71 years after its foundation, continues to spread our history, preserving, researching, exhibiting and educating in order to improve the cultural identity of society.


1986 and 1989 earthquakes

After the seismic movements of 1986 and 1989, the National Institute of Culture delegated the architect Alcides Enríquez Peláez, to carry out structural consolidation works and integral intervention of the roofs of the colonial house, adapting the property for museum use, 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 wood carpentry. After this restoration, the museum continues to function in this place.



It offers the visitor a beautiful collection of archaeological objects from pre-Inca and Inca cultures, as well as a select collection of colonial paintings that shows us the success achieved by Cusco artists. The collections of pre-Hispanic archaeological cultural assets show the Andean cultural development, covering all the eras of the Andean civilization: Pre-ceramic, Formative Period or Early Horizon (Marcavalle and Chanapata), Middle Horizon (Wari), Late Intermediate (Killke and Lucre) and Late Horizon (Inca).


As for the viceregal, republican and contemporary collections, there are works of painting and sculpture from the so-called Cusco School, among them those of Diego Quispe Tito, Pablo Chillitupa and El Maestro de Almudena. There are also notable sculptural works, among them five reliefs by the Italian Jesuit Bernardo Democritus Bitti and the sculpture of a "Crucified Christ", which was present at the sentencing and dismemberment of Tupaq Amaru II in the main square of Cusco.



Hours of operation: Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 18:00 (calendar holidays are not served)

Cost: Entrance included in the Tourist Ticket.



  • Adults Included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket, Circuit II: S / .70.0
  • Higher education students Included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket, Circuit II: S / .40.0
  • Foreigners Included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket, Circuit II: S /. 130.0
  • Student Foreigners - Included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket, Circuit II: S / .70.0
  • Cusco Students: Free
  • Residents in Cusco: Free

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