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  CUSCO´S SURROUNDINGS: RAJCHI ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX

This unique complex was actually a heavily-populated area, a tambo of vast dimensions, spreading out across 264 hectares. The complex is made up of housing, temples, palaces, astronomical observatories, food storehouses and walls. It is located on the right bank of the Vilcanota River between 3,450 and 3,550 meters above sea level.

What stands out most about the Rajchi complex is without a doubt the peculiar Temple of Wiracocha. However, this is not the only ruin left standing there are also the great wall, ceremonial fountains, sphere-shaped buildings and rectangular houses.

Few historians have researched the area, but they coincide on the fact that during the reign of Inca Túpac Yupanqui and his wife Chimpu Ocllo, a rain of fire descended from the heavens and destroyed the site, "converting many stones into ash", in the words of historian Pedro Cieza de León.
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The Temple of Wiracocha
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There are many aspects of the Inca empire that continue to be shrouded in mystery. How they built their monuments is one of them. There are no clear explanations as to how the incas built Saqsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and Machupicchu with rudimentary tools, as they had no knowledge of either the wheel or iron. Nor did they have cargo animals strong enough to transport the immense stone blocks involved.
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The Temple of Wiracocha is possibly one of the most mysterious constructions in Cusco, a unique complex of cylinder-shaped columns and four naves. There is no other construction like it.

Peruvian researcher César García Rossell wrote: "the temple of Rajchi or Cacha, as it is also known, is entirely different from most Inca constructions, which usually are built around squares, have one story and few windows, and have in common the fact the walls are thick and the perfectly fitted stonework. In Rajchi, however, which is a two-story building, has many windows and is fairly high 15 meters (according to the researcher) and has two inner chambers formed by carved, round stone columns, one on each side."

The Temple of Wiracocha is a huge building 92 meters long and 25 meters wide. It was made of a 12 meter-high wall and 22 cylindrical columns located on both sides of the main wall.

The most striking part of the temple ruins is the central wall of the temple, which today measures 12 meters high, but at one time must have been higher. Over the centuries the site has been damaged by the rainy climate.
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The wall, which was originally one piece, was dotted with eight doorways that led from one sector to another. Today it looks like nine great walls due to the lack of lintels of each doorway, which caused the collapse of the mud-brick parts that rested on these bases.

Víctor Angles described the temple in the following way: "in the lower part of the great wall, there are 10 doorways, while in the middle section there was another doorway (door or window), while in the last section above them there was another window." This leads one to imagine the building could have had three floors, although historians like Gasparini and Margolies believe it could have been a one-story palace, and that the columns merely served to support the roof.

Of the 22 columns, only one is still nearly intact today. It once measured six meters in height, but just 3.3 meters is polished stone, while the rest is mud-brick.

The temple also features remains of an outer wall that today is practically destroyed. The temple was one of the first to be looted and destroyed by the Spanish Conquerors and other looters. Today little is left of the construction.

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