The seismic vulnerability assessment of the historic center of Cusco (Peru), an important UNESCO world heritage site, is dealt with in this paper. First, historical development of the city is presented through an in-depth historical analysis of its transformation over time, from the Inca empire to modern days. Then, an extensive in-situ survey activity, that allowed to collect several information about the main structural features concerning ordinary residential buildings, is shown. Based on the collected data, an empirical method calibrated on Italian historic centersfrom the authors is applied. It allowed to obtain Damage Probability Matrices and Fragility Curves for different earthquake intensities, as well as to assess the probability of exceeding certain levels of damage when seismic events of different intensities occur. Based on these predicted damage frequencies, it is possible to prevent irremediable losses and to propose retrofitting interventions which can lead to the seismic vulnerability mitigation for the whole historic center
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