Colonial Cusco was built from Sacsahuayman stones

Inca’s stone building expertise is at its most impressive at Sacsahuayman.

Every visitor takes photos showing the enormous scale of the stones used in the walls.

Every visitor takes photos showing the enormous scale of the stones used in the walls.

Not only are the stones huge, but they are also fitted so well together that it defies understanding of how this feat could have been accomplished.

For the most part, the enormous stones are all that is left of Sacsahuayman’s extensive complex.

For the most part, the enormous stones are all that is left of Sacsahuayman’s extensive complex.

We saw a few places where smaller stones were filled in and assumed that was to stabilize the earth behind the wall.

So, where did all the smaller stones go? After the Spanish defeated the Inca, they brought the stones down to Cusco to built their own colonial city. The cathedral, many churches, and residential buildings of wealthy Spaniards were built with stone brought down from Sacsahuayman.

What is left to see at the ruins requires some information beforehand and a lot of imagination to envision how it all might have looked. Still, there are many unknowns about the site and this makes it all the more difficult to envision what the original structures would have looked like.

Long zigzag walls line an expansive open plaza. This was the only Inca site where we saw walls like this.

Long zigzag walls line an expansive open plaza. This was the only Inca site where we saw walls like this.

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We climbed up in an area across from the zigzag wall and saw huge shiny rock faces used as slides by many local kids. It was nice to see that local families were able to enjoy and use the site.

Llamas ate the grass in the open space, and so did Andean flickers.

Llamas ate the grass in the open space, and so did Andean flickers.

Every time we visited an Incan ruin we wondered what might this all have been like if the Spaniards had never arrived, never conquered the Incas, never destroyed their amazing structures. We understood from several Peruvians with whom we spoke that they have moved on. They celebrate the people they are now, mostly of mixed race and heritage. So, in that spirit, we can better appreciate that the stone structures that used to be at Sacsahuayman now form the beautiful city of Cusco.

 

 

August 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Peru, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Colonial Cusco was built from Sacsahuayman stones

  1. icelandpenny says:

    I am so glad to see you honour Sacsahuaman! So little known, and so extraordinary. I was taken there by a Peruvian archeologist, he was so delighted to point out its skill and strategic attributes to someone else prepared to look, listen, and care. Thank you for taking me there again.

  2. plaidcamper says:

    These are astonishing!

  3. leggypeggy says:

    Ah yes, what if the Spaniards had never arrived?

  4. That mixture of large and small stones is a wondrous piece of art. I love it when form and function join in beauty like that. By what you have experienced, it seems that there is a lot to admire in ancient and modern Incan life.

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