The Inca regarded themselves as the rulers
of the world

Amazingly, their state existed only for 90 years. This empire extended over almost 5,000 kilometres (from north to south), along the Andes and the Pacific coast.

Cuzco was the political, religious and cultural centre of the empire. Not only the ruler resided in the large town, but there was also the main shrine, the sun temple and the main place for education. During the arrival of the first Spaniards in Peru, up to 200,000 people should have lived in Cuzco.

Because of the centralist state machinery, the Inca had their power. They extended consequently their sphere of influence by annexing the surrounding area to the Inca state either with diplomacy or with conquest. Finally, the Inca ruled over the largest part of the southern Andes. They extended their empire into the northern part of Ecuador and Bolivia.

Quetchua was the official language in the Inca empire. This language was the mother tongue of the people, who had already lived in the valley of Cuzco in the past, before the Inca. Today, million of Indians speak the language in Peru and Ecuador.

As the Spaniards came into the country with around 160 people, the Incas were weakened due to illness brought to the empire and they were distracted because of wars caused by the line of successions. Therefore, the Europeans, being superior in weapons, conquered easily the empire. In 1533, the last ruler Atahualpa was murdered.