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Fountain Staircase in Machu Picchu

Posted on : 11 May 2021

Fountain Staircase in Machu Picchu

The cult of water is always present in all the Inca precincts that are known, for the Incas water was the spark that made life sprout from the Pachamama (mother earth).

In Machu Picchu we see the cult of water represented in the staircase of the fountains.

This famous staircase of fountains is one of the most amazing hydraulic engineering works in Peru, it was built approximately in 1450, and had the function of supplying water to the people who inhabited the city of Machu Picchu. It is located between the Temple of the Sun and the Royal Palace.

Fountain Staircase in Machu PicchuThe water in the springs comes from springs located almost one kilometer from Machu Picchu, the Incas built a permeable wall of almost 15 meters in length, which retains the water that then seeps into a stone channel. This channel collects water from a second source, the water continues its way to the Inca City of Machu Picchu through a 5-inch wide channel.

The sources provide water to the entire Inca city, reaching the agricultural area and the residential area. Hydraulic engineers have determined that each of the 16 water sources fills an aríbalo (clay jug used by the Incas).

The fountain set has received various names such as “the street of fountains”, “stairway of fountains” and “liturgical fountains”.

The main source or one of greatest religious importance is known as Wayrana, it is believed that this source was used for spiritual purposes and that it was sacred.

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