Monday, February 7, 2011

Facts About Sacsayhuaman - strangefacts

  • Sacsayhuaman, a strange embankment of stone walls is located just outside of Cuzco at a height of 3.555 m (11,663 ft). Strangely to many visitors, this is actually higher than Machu Picchu
  • The meaning of Sacsayhuam├ín is "House of the Sun"
  • The series of three walls was assembled from massive 200-ton blocks of rock and limestone, and they are arranged in a zigzag pattern along the hillside
  • The longest is roughly 1000 feet in length and each stands some fifteen feet tall 
  • The ruins of the massive fortress are located where the San Cristobal and Cuzco districts meet (both districts are part of the Cuzco Province)
  • The monument is in astonishingly good condition for its age, especially considering the region’s propensity for earthquakes, but the tops of the walls are somewhat demolished, as the monument was plundered by the Spanish to build churches in Cuzco
  • The area surrounding the monument has been found to be the source of several underground catacombs called chincanas, which were supposedly used as connecting passageways to other Inca structures in the area
  • Sacsayhuaman has seen major battles, including the siege in which Juan Pizarro, the smaller brother of Francisco Pizarro was fatally wounded and died the next day
  • Most scientists agree that Sacsayhuaman served as a kind of fortress of barrier wall, but this has been disputed
  • The strange shape and angles of the wall have led some speculate that it may have had a more symbolic function, one example being that the wall, when seen next to Cuzco from above, forms the shape of the head of a Cougar
  • Even more mysterious than the monument’s use, though, are the methods that were used in its construction
  • Like most Inca stone works, Sacsayhuaman was built with large stones that fit together so perfectly that not even a sheet of paper can be placed in the gaps between them
  • Just how the Incas managed such expert placements, or, for that matter, how they managed to transport and lift the heavy hunks of stone, is still not fully known
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