Archaelogical Site Of Ollantaytambo
The spectacular Inca ruins are located a few steps from the main square (entrance with the Tourist Ticket ‘Boleto Turistico’) which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley.
You can admire fine architecture of this beautiful Inca archaeological site constructed in the shape of a fort. You will see altars and astronomical observation towers in addition to qolqas or barns.
The temple area is at the top of steep terracing which helped to provide excellent defences in Incan times.
Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba river – an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. The complex was still under construction at the time of the conquest and was never completed.
After Manco Inca was defeated by the Spanish at Sacsayhuaman following the unsuccessful siege of Cusco (1536) he retreated to Ollantaytambo. Francisco Pizarro’s younger brother Hernando led a force of 70 cavalry, 30 foot soldiers and a large contingent of natives to capture Manco Inca.
The Inca’s forces, joined by neighbouring jungle tribes, rained down showers of arrows, spears and rocks upon the unfortunate Spanish troops. In an intelligent move the Inca’s flooded the plains below their stronghold making it difficult for the horses to manoeuvre. Hernando, uncharacteristically, ordered a hasty retreat. Ollantaytambo became the only place ever to have resisted a Spanish attack.
However, their victory was short-lived, as the Spanish returned with four times their previous force. Manco Inca retreated to his jungle stronghold in Vilcabamba and Ollantaytambo fell into the hands of the Spanish.
Not far from the fortress is the Wall of the Six Monoliths, a towering section of wall composed of six large sections. Construction of the wall was abandoned before its completion for reasons that remain unknown. Other nearby attractions include the Temple of the Sun and the Princess Baths, both of which feature examples of Inca carvings.