Pisac

Pisac and the Sacred Valley Of The Incas

Pisac and the Sacred Valley Of The Incas

Located in the city of Cusco, Pisac is a small village in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River. The village is well known for its Pisac market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. One of its more notable features is a large pisonay tree, which dominates the central plaza. The sanctuary of Huanca, home to a sacred shrine, is also near the village. Pilgrims travel to the shrine every September.

The area is perhaps best known for its Incan ruins, known as Inca Pisac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. The ruins are separated along the ridge into four groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. Intihuatana includes a number of bathes and temples. The Temple of the Sun, a volcanic outcrop carved into a “hitching post” for the Sun (or Inti), is the focus, and the angles of its base suggest that it served some astronomical function. Q’allaqasa, which is built onto a natural spur and overlooks the valley, is known as the citadel.

The hillside is lined with agricultural terraces constructed by the Inca and still in use today. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least a triple purpose. Besides a country estate, it is thought that Pisac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, while Choquequirao defended the western entrance and the fortress at Ollantaytambo the northern.

The narrow rows of terraces beneath the citadel are thought to represent the wing of a partridge (pisaca), from which the village and ruins get their name. The birds are also common in the area at dusk.

Pisac Visiting Regulations

To help with preserving this invaluable archeological monument and world natural and cultural heritage site, we recommend you bear the following in mind:

•Bring drinks in canteens only
•Do not bring food or eat within the monument
•Do not climb the walls
•Put litter in the indicated trashcans
•Walk only on the signaled circuits

Pisac Pictures

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