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(Quechua word that means, saqsay, to satiate itself, and waman, hawk " is one; ceremonial Fortress " call thus by the first Spaniards who arrived to City of Qosqo, located two kilometers to the north of Cusco City. The construction d this place started during the government of Pachacuteq, XV century; nevertheless, it was Huayna Capac who gave it the final touch in XVI century. From the high part, a seen singular panoramic of the surroundings is observed, including the city of the Cusco. The PUMA shape is appraised of which it says that sacsayhuamán was the head.

Sacsayhuaman Pictures

“Ceremonial Fortress" of Sacsayhuamán it is located to 2 km of Cusco, capital of the old Inca Empire; 3,700 msnm and includes an extension of 3,093 hectares. The valley is surrounded by the mountains Ausangate, Pachatusán and Cinca, and this bathed by the Tullumayo river. This zone possesses landscape of great beauty, abundant flora and fauna, among the most important; llamas and hawks.

Inca Time (1438-1534)
The construction of Sacsayhuamán, according to the information that can be extracted of the etnohistóricas sources, would have been initiated during the goverment of the Inca Pachacúteq; then, continued during the government of Túpac Yupanqui and concluded with Huayna Capac. During these three generations, according to Inca Gracilaso de la Vega ( Cronista mestizo), they were the four illustrious constructors who directed the work successively. Of oldest to most recent, these personages were: Apu Huallpa Rimachi, Maricanchi Inca, Acahauna Inca and Callacunchuy. To those architects it must the design of Sacsayhuamán, that according to many chronicles, aside from the ceremonial and military function that fulfilled, also represented a head that, along with the complex of the city of Cusco, formed the figure of puma.

The present time
Design of Sacsayhuaman

The zone where the archaeological complex is located corresponds to the head of the sacred animal, and one of the translations that this word has is, indeed, puma‘s head.  Inca Pachacúteq Yupanqui, the ninth Inca, redesigned the city and gave it the shape of puma with a laid down position (puma is the guardian of the earth things), represents in addition power and strength. The space that includes its constructions is particularly great; what is impressive is the three stone walls that suggest the figure of the fortress.

The construction itself is peculiar, since some of the stones that are there are giant and cause that one is wondered how they managed them and how the stones were transported. The stones were fitted with an almost unimaginable precision. It is inexplicable, for the western one, to decipher how the Incas could cut stones with such master that not even enters the lamina of a knife between two stones. The great complex also consists of a species of slides of stone by where the visitor can be slid.

Detail of a wall

The velvety smoothness of the stone stands out in this formation. There are figures designed in stones and rocks, entrances to underground tunnels, amphitheatres, and constructions of ritual character, probably related to the cult of water. This site carried out an important roll in the  ritual activities. It possibly corresponded to a military fortress, where the soldiers were trained. There are doubts on the matter, since, according to his architecture, it could have had a religious aim and to be constructed like a great temple to the God Sun. Nevertheless, during the time of the conquest, it showed its effectiveness as fortress to defend the city. Its main characteristic is the form in which it was constructed; it counts on great stone blocks, reaching the highest 9 M.s is asserted that its construction delayed 50 years approximately, beginning in the period of the Inca Túpac Yupanqui. It was constructed by 20,000 men. Within the fortress, there were storages of foods and arms, and also channels for the distribution of water. The throne of the Inca, located next to the fortress, consisted of a great rock carved and polished of several levels, from where the sovereign presided over the celebrations, celebrations, and parades and issued orders. At the present time, they are vestiges of the three stepped walls built of limestone stone of sedimentary origin and fosilífera formation. Sacsayhuamán is divided in different sectors: Sacsayhuaman, Rodadero, Throne of the Inca, Warmi K'ajchana, Bath of the Inca, Amphitheatres, Chincana and Bases of Towers, among others.

The towers
There were three towers located in the highest part of the Temple: Muyucmarca, Sayacmarca and Paucarmaca. The first had a cylindrical form with a height equivalent to about four floors and a diameter of about 22 meters. I was located in the center. The second had quadrangular form. From this are it was possible to see Cusco City was descried. The third, with a square shape, was located to the other end of the Sayacmarca.

The Temple was the scene where the Incas adored to sun in this temple for religious ceremonies. It is possible that tens of thousands of people were mobilized in the special celebrations and made offerings and certain type of peregrinations.

Tourist activities
Photography, cultural and archaeological route, walking.

Inti Raymi
In Sacsayhuamán it is carried out, the 24 of June, solstice of winter, the annual festival of the Inti Raymi, where the inca ritual of cult to the God sun or inti is staged.  The local people mobilize themselves with colorful disguises and dance typical dances, repeating therefore the tradition of their ancestors. More than 500 people in scene they comprise of the Show. At this celebration visitors arrive worldwide who reserve their places with much anticipation.

Additional data
  • According to images obtained throught radar, Saqsaywaman communicates in line straight with the Koricancha, with Marcahuasi (Convent of Santa Catherine in Cusco), the temple of Huiracocha Inca (today Cathedral of Cusco), the Palace of Huáscar, the temple of Manco Capac (Colcampata) and Huamanmarca.
  • The investigations suggest it perfect astronomical alignment of the temples would discard the old presumption of which the Incas only had Venus planet like astral reference, but from the discovery it would be possible to be established that also they were guided by the sun, the moon, the Southern Cross and the Pleiads (stars of the constellation of Taurus).
  • At the moment only 20% can be appreciated than it was the architectonic group, since, during the conquets, the Spaniards disarmed their walls and towers to neutralize their use in a possible attack like happened in the rise of Manco the Inca in 1536. Their stones were taken advantage of to construct to houses and churches in Cusco.

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