Saturday, 27 October 2012

Road to Cusco - Ollantaytambo Temple

From Machu Picchu, we took the train back to Ollantaytambo where the bus took us to the Temple Hill on its outskirts.  We hiked up 200 steps to the top of the hill - the Temple of the Sun.  The hike wasn't too bad as there were terraces every 50 steps or so to take breaks and to admire the view. The temple was unfinished but what was left there, the wall of the six monoliths, was considered one of the masterpieces of Inca stonework, perfectly fitted together with thin slices of stone and oriented to glow with the rising sun.  There were also first class stone work in the wall of the ten niches as you can see below.

Food stalls where locals eat at the train station - reminded me of food stalls in Asia

Temple Hill - 200 steps led to the top of this "fortress" with terraces built into the mountainside

Different layers of terraces with different grades of stone and stone work- field stone below and the highest quality  of cut stones on top, reserved for temples and kings

First class stonework in the Temple of the Ten Niches

These niches have an amplification effect if you speak into them.
The stones fit together like Lego!

This photo (taken by another member of my tour as I ran out of battery) shows how a boulder had been cut so the stones fitted like lego pieces - awesome!

 Beautiful trapezoidal entrance

Wall of the six monoliths of pink rhyolite - the Incas dragged these from a quarry 6 km away.  Amazing how they got them up to the top.

Inca markings on the monoliths 

Abandoned boulders indicated a hurried departure of the builders
View of Ollantaytambo from the top of the Temple
View of the surrounding countryside and the quarry from the top of the Hill

Original Inca fountain at the base of Temple Hill (photo by JW)

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