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Some say the Inca placed this fortress here strategically, to protect the most holy city of Cuzco. Others say it was largely a ceremonial outpost for the Inca’s military. While others note that it was long inhabited by pre-Inca peoples, as far back as 10,000 BC, and that the Incas merely built on top of it. High season tourists are likely to visit here for Inti Raymi, the June 24 re-staging of Inca winter solstice rituals (give or take a few days).
English-speaking tour guides, Sacsayhuamen is one of several archeological sites—Ollantaytambo, along with star Machu Picchu, Qoricancha, etc.— that allow you to marvel at the Inca’s design/build expertise. Mammoth multi-ton stones were somehow fitted so close together you are said not to be able to slide a thin sheet of paper between them. The main attraction is remains of a three-tiered structure where military ceremonies were held. If you have toured the Cuzco Cathedral and think that these large boulders feel familiar you are correct. When the Spaniards toppled the Inca military fortress here they took the large stones to build the Cathedral.
Click here to read more Picture this Post travel stories by Amy Munice with photography by Peter Kachergis.