Every time I go down Marqués Street I remember that just 8 years ago it was a Street filled with cars and buses with m uh movement. It was a complete chaos to go there since pedestrians always had to stand on the narrow sidewalks to let vehicles through.
Now this street is one of the most well-known among the people of Cusco. They, as well as national and international visitors walk up and down the street since it is a commercial zone where you can find with every step a bit of everything. There are clothing shops, restaurants, cafés, ice cream shops, tattoo parlors and artisanal fairs inside the old mansions that have been preserved throughout time.
It impressive to see and be part of all the movement that takes place every day on this street. The barkers for the street’s businesses stand in the middle of the street and offer their products. Handicraft venders sit with their cloth of crafts on the side of the street where they offer their wares to passersby. Musicians also stand on the street, especially backpackers, and raise interest to come to the street.
Marqués Street is just two blocks from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. You go down Merced Street and that gets you into this point where you can fill your eyes with beauty of the colonial mansions and all the blue and green balconies.
With each step their facades teach us much about their history. Marqués is a fascinating street composed of colonial houses on top of Inca walls and temples. From the outside the style is Churrigueresque and there are many details on the doorways You will see Spanish family coats of arms. Inside of the colonial mansions you can see spacious patios with water fountains in the middle. They are surrounded by arches that sustain the substantial second floors.
The street’s name comes from Don Diego Ezquivel of an economically powerful family of the time. He had built the first mansion on Marques Street, that of the Marques of Valleumbroso. In the XVII Century the house reached its greatest size. Besides having grand patios, it was exceptional in Cusco. Inside and around it were five stores, four chicherías, and a bakery that provided abundant income to the fourth Marques of Valleumbroso. Today this mansion is occupied by Cusco’s school of fine arts—Diego Quispe Tito—which gives it a good feeling and artistic inspiration.