Cusco ’s baroque Catedral (Plaza de Armas, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$8.50 or boleto religioso) sits between the more recent church of Jesús María (1733) on its right and, on its left, El Triunfo (1539), the first Christian church in Cusco, built to celebrate the victory over Manco Inca.
The cathedral was built on top of Inca Viracocha’s palace using blocks of red granite taken from Sacsayhuamán  and took more than a century to construct from 1560 onwards.
At least four earthquakes from 1650 to 1986, along with damp and neglect, had taken a serious toll on the building. Fortunately, Cusco’s archbishop acquired financial backing from Telefónica for a complete renovation 1997–2002, which removed much of the grime that had covered chapels and paintings over time.
For the first time in a century perhaps, it is possible to make out the unique Cusco School paintings, including odd works such as Christ eating a guinea pig at the Last Supper and a (very) pregnant Virgin Mary. There is also an interesting painting, reported to be the oldest in Cusco , showing Cusco during the 1650 earthquake with the townspeople praying in the Plaza de Armas .
The church also contains considerable gold- and silverwork, including a silver bier for the Señor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes), patron of Cusco. It also holds a 17th-century carved pulpit and choir stalls and an original gold-covered Renaissance altar. In the bell tower is the huge María Angola bell, one of the largest bells in the world, made with 27 kilograms of gold.