Sunday, November 30, 2003

Cuenca and Ingapirca

Thank you Tom.

Yesterday we took the bus to Ingapirca, about two hours north of Cuenca. Ingapirca means 'Wall of the Inca' although as well as Inca ruins, the site holds pre-Inca Cañar buildings too. No one is quite sure what the site was for, but it appears to have contained a Sun Temple, various store houses and living quarters.

Ingapirca was a political and religous centre for the Cañar. When the Inca invaded they took it over, and probably used it as a post to garrison troops to keep the peace - the site lay on the main road between Cusco and Cuenca. Amusingly after all the effort of building the site, the Incas only held it for thirty years before the Spanish invaded.

When we arrived it was raining so we looked around the museum first. Tom translated for me. The museum holds various artefacts found at the site. The buildings are impressive and have been fairly well maintained. The Sun Temple stands out above the other remains. It is a striking view enhanced by the llamas roaming around the grounds.

We got the bus back to Cuenca. After an aborted attempt to find a supermarket we walked along by the river which is in a pleasant area.

Today we further investigated Cuenca. We walked around the Old Town, looking at the various sights. We stopped off at a Modern Art Museum, which Tom was rather more impressed with than me. There were some quite interesting pieces though. We also saw the Old and New Cathedrals. The latter is particularly impressive with huge blue domes on top of many of its towers (but not the front two because the architect miscalculated and it would have collapsed under the weight).


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