Ayacucho Square, Peru
Ayacucho Square (Plaza de Armas) Huamanga. Google Earth Satellite View.
Ayacucho is the capital city of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region, Peru. It has a population of 93,033 within the city and an additional 140,230 in the surrounding area. The name is derived from quechua «aya» (death) and «cuchu» (outback).
Ayacucho is famous for its large number of churches and for its religious celebrations during Holy Week. These celebrations include horse races featuring Peruvian Caballos de Paso and the traditional running of the bulls, known locally as the jalatoro or pascuatoro. The jalatoro is similar to the Spanish encierro, except that the bulls are led by horses of the Morochucos.
Vestiges of human settlements more than 15,000 years old have been found in the cave site of Pikimachay, about 25 km north of Ayacucho. In the 6th and 12th centuries, the region became occupied by the Huari Culture, which became the first expansionist empire known in the Andes before the Incas.
See also: Ayacucho video.
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By Antonio Gutierrez