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Sacsayhuaman – What will you visit in the Cusco City Tour?

Posted on : 16 March 2021

Third: Sacsayhuaman or Saqsayhuaman


Sacsayhuaman is an Inca fortress that generates much admiration throughout the world. In Quechu, saqsay means full, or satisfied, and waman, means hawk: both would give us a concept of a satisfied hawk. Its construction was ordered by the Inca Pachacútec, in the 15th century, and it was the Inca Huayna Cápac who completed it in the 16th century. The fortress of Sacsayhuaman is located 2 km away from Cusco and is at 3.700 meters above sea level.

SacsayhuamanThis area has a beautiful landscape with flora and fauna such as llamas and hawks. The Saqsayhuaman area takes the shape of a head of a sacred animal. Pachacútec, the ninth Inca, redesigned the city and shaped it into a lying puma, the head being Saqsayhuaman. The construction of this fortress was based on rock cut in the quarry roughly with the required shape. Then these rocks were dragged with ropes by hundreds of men to the desired place. In this way of construction, there is a test: the ropes used. These ropes were so impressive that they were mentioned by the Spanish Diego de Trujillo in 1571 after inspecting a room full of construction material. What most attracts the attention of Saqsayhuaman are the three stone walls that suggest the figure of lightning or serpent, in addition to the fineness of the stone in these formations.

SacsayhuamanIn Saqsayhuaman there are entrances to underground tunnels, and there are also areas such as amphitheaters, ritual enclosures, probably related to the cult of water. So it is believed that it was here that rituals of worship to water and the sun were held. Inside, there were large warehouses for food and weapons, and also water channels. The Inca’s throne was located next to the fortress and consisted of a large rock carved and polished on several levels, from where the sovereign presided over religious ceremonies. An important fact to mention is the three towers located in the upper part of the fortress: Muyucmarca, Sallacmarca, and Paucamarca. From there you could see the entire city of Cusco, so it is believed that this was a fortress for the protection of Cusco. The Inti Raymi, Cusco’s most important celebration, takes place on June 24 of each year. This is the annual festival dedicated to the Sun god that was born in the forties, and still lasts to this day.

The visit to Saqsayhuaman is included in the Cusco city tour.