Sacsayhuamán: The Magnificent Inca Fortress

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Learn more about this mystical archaeological site that hosts the yearly Inti Raymi festival.
If you have been bit by the travel bug and are looking to explore Peru’s backyard, rest assured that it boasts numerous sights with an endless wealth of history that you won’t want to miss.

The city of Cusco alone, which many say was built in the shape of a puma, has connecting archaeological sites one can visit for its rich history, including the famous Inca Fortress that is located just 2km outside of Cusco.

Many interpretations are made as to the meaning of the word *Sacsayhuamán* but the most common one is that the Quechuan name comes from the word _Saqsaywaman_, meaning “satisfied falcon”.

To the Spanish, this was a mighty fortress, but to the Incas this was their House of the Sun, a temple for prayers and sacrifices, so it only makes sense that as the noted Inti Raymi festival draws near (June 24), more visitors flock to the sacred grounds where this yearly celebration is held.

Constructed in the 14th century, this massive undertaking required the work of thousands of men and took around *50 years to complete*. Three parallel walls can be seen on different levels and the zig zag appearance suggests the “teeth” of a puma’s head that the complex represents.

The giant ramparts with carved limestone boulders perfectly melding into each other without the use of mortar may have an other-worldly feel to it, but historically these remnants are simply visible proof of the ingenuity of Inca engineering at its finest.

Surrounded by beautiful landscape with a *lush green valley*, a colorful history can be derived from visiting this old world site and its breathtaking view can be admired up close or enjoyed quietly from the top of an adjoining hill.

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