Above the city of Cuzco lie the ruins of Sacsaywaman.   The Inca did not necessarily delineate between martial, secular, and religious components of society as we do. However the site is most often referred to as a fortress because of the bloody battle fought here between Manco Inca and Pissaro's men in 1536. The enormous blocks of the zig zag ramparts are created with the same incredible fitting of other Inca sites but on a massive scale.

Click here to see a Quicktime movie from the grassy plaza.


The most striking features remaining at Sacsaywaman are the long, three-tiered ramparts bordering one side of a large grassy plain. Many of the lower blocks are quite tall measuring as much as 25 ft tall and weighing several hundred tons. The largest stones are often set at the apex of the rampart.





The Spanish wrote that on top of the structure was a complex of buildings dominated by three towers. Cieza de Leon calls Sacsaywaman the Storehouse of the Sun because it supplied the Inca warriors during the weeks of siege by the Spanish in 1536. Until the 1930s the site was used primarily as a quarry for new construction in Cuzco. All that remains of the hilltop complex are the circular foundation of the towers.

Cuzco 1


Sacred Valley