Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Thinking Blue

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Cusco is a nice surprise for those traveling to Machu Picchu. Though the city will likely give you a dose of altitude sickness at its 11,000+ feet above sea level elevation, its highest reaches also take you amazingly close to the sky.

Perhaps the early colonizers recognized this strange beauty and painted their doors and windows to enhance the blue of the "roof" above them. While walking through the city with a guide, I asked about the rows and rows of blue windows and doors we passed along the way. He replied that it was the Spanish colonizer's choice to paint it thus.

In Cusco, native and colonial influences sit one on top of the other. Its Convent of Santo Domingo was built on the foundations of Koricancha, an Incan temple. I shouldn't have been surprised at the guide's answer. The resulting blue and white homes are something right out of the Mediterranean, don't you think?

The temple foundations
The convent over the foundations


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