The Spaniards conquered the Inca capital of Cuzco, but found the imperial city too high and remote. Instead, they established a new capital, Lima, near the coast. Highland communities, therefore, experienced less contact with Spanish culture than did lowland communities. However, all Indian communities were subject to Spanish tribute and labor demands, adapted from the Incan mita system. These often onerous obligations brought disruption, change, and hardship.
According to legend, Santiago (St. James) converted Spain to Christianity and after his death his remains were moved to Santiago de Compostela. A later addition to the legend has Santiago riding a white steed and carrying a white banner, appearing in a radiant cloud above Christian troops battling Muslim forces. The notion of Santiago symbolizing Christian triumph over non-Christians was part of the mental world that the conquistadores brought with them to America. Chroniclers report that Santiago was invoked numerous times in battles against indigenous peoples. This illustration shows such a scene.
This church in Cuzco was constructed on top of the remains of an Incan temple. The obvious combination of Christian, Muslim, and Incan cultures are all evident in this photograph.
Continue the Voyage with Europeans Along the South Atlantic or abandon ship and use the Outline.