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  SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS: CALCA

Calca, known by its extraordinary landscapes is an important town, capital of the province of the same name. It has a mild climate year-round, with thermal baths that refresh the spirit, marvelous archaeological groups to visit and friendly people. All this and more is to be had in Calca, a perfect place to relax and rest.

Precisely, this was the reason why Huiracocha, the eighth Inca, chose this area to established his home, since when he was old and tired, he wanted to get away from government and search for peace here.
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Jochoc Bridge - Calca

Location

Calca is located 50 km. north of Cusco, over 2,926 meters above sea level. It is a plateau which is as the central part of a region where roads, riverbeds and the most diverse cultures come together.

During the Inca empire, Calca was an important population center with an amazing administrative organization. This can be seen from the beautiful pre-Hispanic walls in the streets and plazas of the current population, as well as the great archaeological monument of Juch'uy Qosqo. The perpetual ice peaks of Sawasiray and Pitusiray also stand out: these were important divinities and gave origin to the legend of Pitusiray.

Monument of Juch´uy Qosqo

This is a fabulous archaeological monument located 5 kilometers south of the city of Calca.

Juch’uy Qosqo means "Small Cusco", but no one understands why this name was assigned, since in general, it looks like all inca cities and it definitely does not have any resemblance with the city of Cusco.

The Inca name is known as K’ajya Qhawana and it is translated as "where the lightning looks". The chroniclers, due to their lack of knowledge of the Quechua language, made various forms of the same name like Caquia Xaquixaguana, Sacsahuna, Xaquixaguana, Huana among others.

Location of Juch´uy Qosqo

Juch ‘uy Qosqo was a population of highlands, located over 3,550 meters above sea level in a small plateau in the upper third of the mountain. There is a beautiful view from that place, while at the other side of the valley one can appreciate the incomparable beauty of the perpetual snow-peaks of Pitusiray and farther beyond, one can clearly see the town of Calca.

The safest way to reach Juch’uy Qosqo is to leave the city of Calca via the Minasmoqo sector. There one continues on horseback through a plateau up to the bed of the mountain. From there, one continues on foot down the side of the hill until the monument is reached.

Brief History

According to the chroniclers, it was Inca Huiracocha who founded Juch’uy Qosqo in a place which was already populated. When the first Inca, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo arrived in the valley of Cusco, he found an area occupied by various tribes who were later defeated and annexed to the Empire. One of these tribes was Juch’uy Qosqo.

Chronicler Pedro Cieza de León in his book "Señorío de los Incas" refers to this topic in the following way:

"The Inca was determined to go to Condesuyo, but being old and tired, he left it. At the time he had some palaces made in the Valley of Xaquixaguana (Juch’uy Qosqo) in order to go and rest there; and since he had many sons and knew that the oldest one, called Inca Urco, would have to be in charge of the kingdom, the Inca wished to deprive him of the kingdom and give it to a younger man whose name was Inca Yupanqui".

Spaniards chronicler Juan de Betanzos states that ten years after giving his throne to Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui, Huiracocha spent his last days in the Valley of Xaquixaguna and died at the age of eighty.

Description

The buildings that form the architectural monument of Juch’uy Qosqo are the following:

A three floor building.- Built with great architectural quality. The first floors are made of carved rooms which are linked with admirable precision, while the third floor is made of mud-brick. The edges found in the limit of the first and second floors attract attention, since they held the beams that formed the second floor. There are many doors, windows and interior shelves.

A building of adobe blocks.- Because of its simple construction and location it is possible that it could have been an artisan workshop where acllas or royal sculptures were made. It is a rectangular floor building built over a prominent platform. It has many doors facing the valley, and it is obvious that it was not a bedroom or a food storage place. 


SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Pisaq Chinchero
Calca Moray
Urubamba Maras
Ollantaytambo .
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