Ollantaytambo Temple Reviews
Ollantaytambo Temple on Temple Hill Nov 22, 2008
The ruins at Ollantaytambo stretch above the city on the hillside. 200 steps take you up through the agricultural terraces to the temple of Ten Niches where large stone blocks contain knobs of unknown purpose. These terraces are taller than most Inca terraces and have cut stones - a sign of prestige or royal estate. This was the private estate of Inca Pachacutec and was also designed for defense and control of the area.
Up a few more steps is the unfinished Temple of the Sun which contains 6 large rhyolite blocks from a quarry 5 km away. The blocks have long, straight lines and fit together perfectly, with molten bronze poured in to help cement the stones together. Traces of chacana symbols can be seen on the stones. Most of the stones were carved in a quarry on the opposite side of the Rio Urubamba on the side of a mountain and then dragged up a 25 degree slope!
The reason why construction stopped is unknown but took place around the time of the arrival of the Spaniards and Pachacutec’s death. Ruins of the temples, terraces, and living quarters can be visited. The Princess Baths area near the bottom contain several dwelling areas and fountains used as baths.
The ruins are covered by the Cusco ticket and can be visited in 2-4 hours. Guides are available but you are also free to wander on your own. The ruins are guarded by security personnel to keep you safe and the ruins protected (obey their whistles!).
Part of the Amigas Bonita do Peru travel blog
Part of the list Sights of the Sacred Valley of Peru
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