Spain is Earth’s version of The Biggest Loser.
It’s hard to believe that Spain, a country that today is smaller than the state of Texas, once ruled an empire covering all of Central America, much of the US and South America, parts of the Caribbean, bits of Europe and even some outposts in Asia.
That’s a lot of empire to lose.
Remnants of the former empire are everywhere evident in Latin America, however, where Spanish remains the dominant language, where the culture and food retain heavy Spanish influence and where Roman Catholicism, the religion imposed on native civilizations at the often bloody point of a sword, remains the overwhelmingly dominant religion.
Even Cusco, a small city today but once the capital of the mighty Incan Empire, boasts 17 cathedrals for its 350,000 residents.
A couple of them are particularly fascinating, and a little funny.