If Cuszco was the seat of power in the Inca Empire, then Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley was the site of the Royal estates which provided a respite from the official functions of State.  The entire site of Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of the Inca Pachacuteq. This accounts for the quality of the construction and stonework in the site and for the scale of the ceremonial structures there.

The entire complex of Ollantaytambo is very extensive. It includes the palace and temple area, the town, quarries for the large stones, storehouses for food, irrigation, terraces, defensive structures. The town itself is an example of Inca town planning in the layout of the Cancha residential squares. 
The sequence leading up to the Temple Sector begins at the foot of the central stairs in the plaza. The observer is dwarfed by the massive terraces that fill the ravine. At the top of the sixth terrace the path moves to the left and the observer ascends along the edge of the terraces. The space has closed around the observer by now and one begins to experience the space on a more intimate and less massive scale. Ascending further the observer turns a tight corner while climbing stairs and tops out on the level of the Unfinished Gate and the Wall of Ten Niches. The door of the Gate is a unique double-jam style but since we do not know where it was intended to lead, or its purpose, we can only guess at its significance. Following the terrace past the Gate leads to the Wall of Ten Niches. This was likely a finished room at one time but now only one door and the wall remain. Click here to see a Quicktime movie of the Unfinished Gate and the Wall of Ten Niches.

Sacred Valley 2


Machu Picchu