Just north of the Plaza, Calle Ataud, is one of Cusco’s most impressive colonial houses. Inside there is a courtyard where local Quechua weavers can be seen working. The weavings are for sale, kind of expensive but of very good quality. This museum exhibits the development of culture in the region, from Pre-Inca civilizations, Inca civilization itself, to the present days. The museum has a good combination of textiles, ceramics, metalwork, architecture, photographs, etc.
The display of deformed skulls with trepanning is fascinating. The section on Coca gives an excellent insight into the sacred leaf. Old photographs of Machu Picchu are good to see after a visit for “then and now” comparisons.
This colonial house was built on the site of palace occupied in 1400 by the Inca Roca. The museum contains a fine collection of colonial paintings, furniture and mirrors. The collection includes the painting by the indigenous master, Diego Quispe Tito, of a 17th century Corpus Christi procession, that used to hang in the church of Santa Ana.
There are many paintings of the virgin of the milk, in which the Virgin Mary is breastfeeding Jesus, a sight not seen in western religious painting. The throne in the old dining room is 300 hundred years old and was taken up to Sacsayhuaman for the Pope to sit on when he visited in 1986.
This museum shows the evolution of the Cuzquenian School of painting, it also includes Inca agricultural implements, a mummy from Nazca, colonial furniture and paintings, and photographs of 1950 earthquake. Note that this museum is incuded in your tourist ticket (BTG)