This is the second Sun Temple -Sacsayhuaman (sounds like “sexy woman). The construction of this temple started in 1450. This is the temple, which I mention earlier, that was destroyed by the Spanish in order to build the large Cathedral in Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
The city of Cusco was laid out in the shape of a Puma. The Plaza de Armas was the stomach, the Tulluymayo River was the spine and hill of Sacsayhuaman was the head. The zig-zag pattern of the wall in this picture were the “teeth”. There is no other stone work like this in the world. The stones fit together so precisely, that you can’t fit even a blade of grass in between them! An amazing feat considering they didn’t use mortar.
The temple took 60 years to build with the help of between 20,000-30,000 people. It was used for ceremonies. The Spanish referred to it as the “fortress” and used it as such.
The next temple we visited was the Temple of Mother Earth or Pachamama. This was a large group of boulders already positioned. The Incas carved around the rocks to create the temple. Only nobility was allowed at this temple and it was primarily used to worship fertility.
There were niches carved out of the stone where they could put their offerings. Also, when a person of nobility died, they were placed in this temple in the fetal position. Beneath the temple, there was a cave and a large flat stone representing a table. It was here, because it was always cool, that dead kings and queens were mummified.
On the backside of the temple was a large stone. When the sun from the winter solstice shone on this rock, the shadow of a Puma would be formed.
Our final stop on the tour was the Temple of the Water. This was a really interesting place, but unfortunately, it was close to dark by the time we arrived. This temple was three fountains that has had water flowing from them since the Inca time. No one knows the origin of the water source for the fountains. The Incas kept this a secret because they were afraid that their enemies might poison the water.
So, with our tour finished, we got a quick dinner and off to bed. The next morning we were being met at 7:00 AM by our tour guide, Juan Carlos, for our hiking and camping trip in the Andes.
To be continued………