© iStock/Creative-Family
© iStock/Creative-Family

The mysteries of Sacsayhuaman citadel

3 minutes to read

From humanly impossible constructions to underground tunnels, there are lots of mysteries linked with the ancient citadel of Sacsayhuaman in Peru. The great walls of this citadel are one of the most intact ancient constructions known in the entire country. And the reason why they are so intact is unbelievable. Let’s find out about the mysteries of the Sacsayhuaman citadel.

Sacsayhuaman citadel, Cusco
Sacsayhuaman citadel, Cusco

The head of the jaguar

Sacsayhuaman was initially built by a pre-Inca civilization called Killike. Then, when the Incas dominated the area, centuries later, they made their capital Cusco next to it, with the shape of a puma's body, leaving Sacsayhuaman as its head.

The mysterious walls of Sacsayhuaman

The first big mystery around Sacsayhuaman is the three zig-zag walls that protect the ancient citadel because they are built with rocks that seem to be impossible to move without heavy machinery. Just to have a better idea, a midsize car weighs less than two tons, while the estimated weight of some of these rocks is higher than a hundred tons. And maybe there is no need to mention that the highest one is 9 meters tall.

But besides their heavyweight, these rocks in Sacsayhuaman are fitted together with a level of accuracy that is impossible to achieve with hand tools that we know today.

© iStock/Akarawut Lohacharoenvanich
© iStock/Akarawut Lohacharoenvanich

When the Spanish colonizers arrived in the area, they knocked down many Inca and Killike constructions to use the materials for their buildings. But the story was different when they faced the walls of Sacsayhuaman. Because the rocks were so big, they could not move them at all. And that is how the Spanish ended up attributing the construction of these walls to supernatural forces.

Could it be possible that the ancient civilizations living in Sacsayhuaman had advanced knowledge that we do not understand yet? For now, we cannot tell for sure. We only know that these walls resisted all natural disasters and knockdown attempts up to our days.

© iStock/Byelikova_Oksana
© iStock/Byelikova_Oksana

Chinkanas: the forbidden tunnels

Another mystery of Sacsayhuaman is its underground tunnels, known as chinkanas. These tunnels were built by an ancient civilization, though we do not know which one exactly, and neither we know their purpose.

There are old documents that mention the tunnels of Sacsayhuaman as large underground labyrinths. And some people believe that they connect Sacsayhuaman with other cities. There are even legends about them leading to underground chambers with unimaginable treasures. That is why many people went to explore inside of them, but oftentimes, to never come back. For that reason, the entrance to most tunnels got closed since the 1920s, except for a short one called Chinkana chica, which connects two known areas of the ancient citadel.

© iStock/HomoCosmicos
© iStock/HomoCosmicos

Rodadero, hundreds of years old slides

To end with, Rodadero is a group of natural slides where kids used to play hundreds of years ago. At least, that is what was written in the memories of Garcilaso de la Vega, the first Inca-Spanish mix blooded writer. Nowadays, some visitors have fun on these natural slides the same way locals did hundreds of years ago.

Rodadero slides, Cusco
Rodadero slides, Cusco
© iStock/Shirley Chen
© iStock/Shirley Chen

So, if you want to see these remarkable ancient remains of Peru with your own eyes, make a stopover in this place and draw your conclusions about the mysteries of Sacsayhuaman citadel.


The author

Vanesa Zegada

Vanesa Zegada

I am Vanesa and I am from Bolivia. I am in love with my homeland. It never stops surprising me, even if I am a local. It is a place full of diversity, traditions, interesting spots that I want to share with you through my stories on itinari.

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