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The fortress of Sacsayhuamán

Sacsayhuaman is one of the most amazing buildings in the world, it is thought that it began to be built during the government of Pachacútec and that continued for another 70 years until Tupac Yupanqui; Is the work of more than 20,000 men who extracted the stones from the quarries of Muina, Huacoto and Rumicolca and moved 20 km to the hill of the city of Cusco, where they were transformed into the wall that can now be seen; And without knowing it, in one of the most mysterious places on the planet. The stones of the wall are so well fitted, that there is no pin between them; Do not you find it amazing? Well then know that they are united “for nothing”; No type of amalgam, glue or any type of mortar keeps them together.

Some studies claim that Sacsayhuaman may have been built by pre-Inca cultures; So it is possible that he was there before the city of Cusco became the capital of the Inca empire. Another one of the great enigmas that has the “Fortress of Sacsayhuaman“, is that it has been discovered that what was believed a solar clock, is probably, writing of 3,000 years of antiquity; This would rewrite the story of the” Inca Sacsayhuaman“.

Fortress of Sacsayhuamán
Fortress of Sacsayhuamán to 4 km from main square of Cusco

Where is Sacsayhuaman?

The archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán is located 2 km north of Cusco’s Main Square, at an altitude of 3,700 masl and with an area of more than 3,000 hectares, on a hill surrounded by mountains. The place has beautiful landscapes with abundant flora and fauna (outstanding llamas and hawks).

What does Sacsayhuaman stand for?

The term Sacsayhuaman means “place where the hawk is satisfied”, and is presumed to be a fortress; Although scholars of the culture of the Incas believe that more could be a ceremonial place; Nevertheless, receives the denomination of fortress, when the Spanish attack was repelled from there.

How to get to Sacsayhuamán?

Just 10 minutes from the Main Square of the Cusco by car, or a 25-minute walk, you will find the main wall of the “Fortress of Sacsayhuamán”. You can take a City Tour or go on your own, but remember that you will not be able to enter Sacsayhuaman without the Cusco Tourist Ticket. Here you can know how to buy the Cusco Tourist Ticket.

Architecture of Sacsayhuamán

Sacsayhuaman is often called fortress, because that seems, and that from here the attacks against Cusco during the conquest were resisted. But it is strange that the Incas built a fortress in this place, much less at a time when the empire was expanding in an amazing way. It is possible that when the Spaniards arrived in the city of Cusco, the enormous lytic walls would astonish them in such a way that they would call it the “Fortress of Sacsayhuamán”, taking into account their own conception of the cities and the military constructions of the time. But this construction was not made to be a fortress, but rather resembles other places that were sacred to the Incas, residential buildings, turrets, shrines, warehouses, roads and aqueducts that make up this imposing Inca construction. Its shape, the place where it was built and its harmony with the landscape remind us of other sacred Inca sites, such as Machu Picchu. Everything suggests that it would be a place of worship to the Sun, for which not only the building is relevant, but the whole natural environment that surrounds it.

The south side of the construction is limited by a polished wall of approximately 400 m long, the east and the west are limited by other walls and platforms. The main wall is built in zigzag with gigantic stones up to 5 meters high, 2.5 meters wide and between 90 and 125 tons in weight, its large size should have astonished both the people of that time, as it does now with all that Who visits Sacsayhuaman. To move rocks of that size must have represented a superhuman effort, but to fit them in the way they were constructed seems to be the work of beings from another planet, and not that we say it, there are already theories that maintain that Sacsayhuaman was constructed of with the intervention Of extraterrestrials.

What to see in Sacsayhuamán?

From Sacsayhuaman you will have an amazing view of Cusco and its mountainous surroundings; You can see some of the highest mountains in the region, you will see the summits of Ausangate, Pachatusán and Cinca, mountains that were considered sacred to the Incas. But the resort itself has some amazing places to see, some of them have their own stories and meanings.

The Towers

The turrets are located on the walls in zigzag and are called Muyucmarca, Paucarmarca and Sallaqmarca, and were distributed in a straight line, it is known that in this place there was abundant water, even now we can see part of the aqueducts.

  • Muyucmarca

    Also known as the tower of Cahuide, Muyucmarca (muyuq, meaning round and mark, means population) was not only an exceptional building with an enormous historical value, but it was one of the places where the greatest indigenous resistance was carried out. Spanish invasion. It is known that

  • Paucarmarca

    Paucamarca is covered with earth and is likely to have a square shape, Paucar means festive, cheerful, and Marca means population; It is believed that this building was destined to the stars.

  • Sallaqmarca

    Sallaq means, rough, stony and mark meaning town. At present only the foundations of the turrets remain, since they were destroyed with the colony; These earthen foundations were found and recovered later by Dr. Luis E. Valcárcel.

Group of Enclosures

These rooms are located on the hill, a short distance from the turrets, are directed towards the Main Square of the city of Cusco and are connected to each other by trapezoidal doors, have the characteristic of being long and narrow.

The Walls (The Bulwarks)

They are huge platforms of cogged form (in zigzag); Its enormous walls are built of limestone blocks, polyhedrons of very irregular shapes, but perfectly fitted together. The first Spaniards who saw the walls of Sacsayhuaman, attributed its construction to demons; But at present it is not different because some people attribute the construction of the fabulous fortress of Sacsayhuaman to aliens. No one can be sure who built Machu Picchu, but if we are sure, Sacsayhuaman has earned the title of one of the most mysterious places on the planet, and when standing next to the huge stones of Sacsayhuaman, you will understand why.

The doors

They are in the middle and central part of the bastions, they have trapezoidal form and served as entrance to the tower area. Each door has its own denomination: Ajawanapunku, T’iopunku and Wiracochapunku.

Suchuna (Rodaderos)

The rodaderos are a natural rock formation of diorite of volcanic origin, that shoots molding in its arched surface like slides (slides). The Inca Throne or K’usilluc Jink’ian, translated these words mean where the monkey is raised. These are located on the eastern side of the hill.

Chincanas (tunnels)

They are two chincanas, the smallest measuring about 15 meters and has become a distraction for travelers visiting Sacsayhuamán; The large one is to the north of the complex; Some people have tried to reach the end of this tunnel, but nobody has succeeded, the oxygen tanks are finished before they can reach the end; It is possible that this huge tunnel reaches Brazil. At present the entrance is covered with a huge rock.

Wide view of the fortress of Sacsayhuamán
Wide view of the fortress of Sacsayhuamán


Advice from people who have been there


Sabine CBy: Sabine C

“Icon of world engineering, just 15 minutes from Cusco“

“Like Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Sacsayhuaman is one of the places you can not miss if you come to Cusco; It is amazing, amazing, impressive, zigzag walls with its immense rocks, the so-called solar clock, which turned out to be ancient writing (long before the Inca), but can not forget the rodadero.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last Update, 07-19-2017


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