Monday, December 20, 2004

Sexy woman :)

On a rocky outcrop above Cuzco lies Sacsayhuaman [or sexy woman for an easier pronunciation], the grandest military architectural complex of the empire and one of the archaeological wonders of the Americas. On the side facing the city there is only one wall on a rugged mountain slope. On the other side which is less steep, there are three, one higher than the other. Originally founded as a sun temple, it is a combination of religious architecture, fortress and ceremonial complex. But what makes the walls of Sacsayhuaman so remarkable? Was it the magnificent 3 tiered zig-zag fortifications? Was it because the terraces between the walls were wide enough for three carts to pass side by side? Or was it the fact that 4000 workers quarried the stones, 6000 hauled them in place while the remaining 10,000 dug trenches or laid foundations? Early witnesses provide some vivid descriptions:

“These walls are the most beautiful thing that can be seen of all the constructions in the land. This is because they are of such big stones that no one who sees them would say that they have been placed there by the hand of man. They are as big as pieces of mountains or crags…….[one of the stones was found to be 300 tons] These stones are not flat, but worked very well and fit together….These walls have curves so that if one attacks them one cannot go frontally but rather obliquely with the exterior”

The fort of Sacsayhuaman saw one of the bitterest battles between the Spanish and the rebellious Manco Inca. The Spanish had to put up a desperate attack to finally put an end to the rebellion forcing Manco Inca to retreat to the fortress of Ollantaytambo, and later to the jungle at Vilcabamba.


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