Published On: Thu, Aug 27th, 2020

Sacred Valley of Peru

Ollantaytambo is located in the fortress of the sacred valley in the Andes mountains, 73 kilometers away from Cusco and about 2,800 meters above sea level. The surrounding mountains are surrounded by natural military fortifications. After the Spanish entered the Inca territory, the then Inca King Manco retired to Ollantaytambo and established a temporary capital. In 1537, the Incas defeated the Spanish attack here, so this majestic and solid military fortress was the only witness of the Incas’s only victory against the Spanish invasion.

Ollantaytambo was built as a military fortress and royal resort, and it has the same status as Machu Picchu. And among all the small towns in the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo is the only one that still preserves the original layout, and is the last well-preserved Inca dwelling. I like this town very much, and I have visited it twice. There is a central square in the town, crowded with buses from Cusco for day trips during the day, surrounded by restaurants, bars, tourist shops.

In the middle of the two tall cliffs is the pyramid terraces, and the 16 steep steps from bottom to top make people timid. Probably the Western Plaguemen who attacked here had the same sigh, especially when rocks, javelins and arrows rained down from above. Inca King Manko retreated here after losing to Cuzco, which made the Western Buddies a defeat. It’s a pity that the good times didn’t last long. Ollantaytambo fell under the counterattack of the Western Buddies. Manco abandoned the city and fled to Vilcabamba in the jungle. This city was designated as the new capital of the Inca Empire, which persisted until the end of the Inca Empire in 1572. .

Each level of terraces here is wide and deep, obviously much higher than elsewhere, because it has to take into account the dual functions of sacrificial celebrations and agricultural planting. These terraces are neat and uniform, and the retaining walls of each level of terraces are made of stone, which is very flat and strong. This is also the reason why they still have the same appearance after hundreds of years of wind and rain. Terraced fields are rare in the world, and the terraced fields of the Incas are construction projects, unique and delicate.

There is an Inca warehouse on the almost vertical hillside opposite the fortress ruins. It is difficult to be exposed to direct sunlight, and the cold air from the plateau is refluxed in the valley. It is a rare natural large refrigerator. The grain warehouse was very cleverly constructed. Grain was stuffed into an upward window for storage, and when it was taken, it was poured out through a downwardly inclined window.

The highest point of the Temple Hill is the half-built Sun Temple, where the Incas worshiped the sun. There is a huge wall in the temple, which is the treasure of Ollantaytambo. This wall is made up of six granites standing upright in a row, separated by thin slabs of stone, but it is seamlessly assembled and is more like a line drawn on a complete large slab. Such a wonderful splicing is different from the huge stone combination of the Sun Temple in Cusco and the fortification Sacsayhuaman. Here, the Incas once again demonstrated their talent in stone. It’s a pity that the Sun Temple was under construction before the war, so what we saw was only semi-finished products. Some Indians still worship the sun god here.

Ollantaytambo is a military fortress and an ancient town. It allows visitors to once again appreciate the charm of Inca civilization. It is a testimony of Inca history and a must-see stop when traveling to the Sacred Valley of Peru.

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