Complete Art Index
Next Travel page
"Ollantaytambo, Peru" © 2015 photo Elroy Christenson
Ollantaytambo is an ancient city in the "Sacred Valley" about an hour and a half drive from Cusco. The site has an ancient and unknown begining. It was conquered by the emperor, Pachacuti, in the 15c who tore it down and rebuilt it as part of his personal estate. Since it was in the valley, it was discovered by the Spanish in about 1530 who destroyed as much of it as they could. In particular they tore down the sun temple at the top of this terraced area in order to convert and control the population. The terraces were used to grow crops such as corn, potatoes and squash. The fields were irrigated with water brought through a series of canals from several miles away. Some the canals are still operational but this site is presently only a tourist site. Lots of souvenir shops are outside the gates to the monument. This city is also a major jump-off point to the "Inca Trail".
The city here has some of the oldest continuously occupied buildings in South America. [wikipedia]