The impressive ruins of Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuaman is a must see for tourists visiting Cusco, Peru; ranked 8 out of 87 attractions to see in Cusco by Tripadvisor.com. The former capital of the Inca Empire – Cusco – offers insight into the battles between the Incas and the Spaniards during the 1500’s; while also providing breath-taking views of the city and the surrounding country side simultaneously. With an altitude of 3,701 meters one should be mindful of water intake and pacing to avoid altitude sickness when visiting this beautiful fortress, at only a few kilometers from Cusco.
This once labyrinth-like fortress housed around 1,500 Incas. In 1533 Francisco Pizarro Gonzales, a Spanish conquistador led a small army of 13 men to the Inca territory to claim their new land. With two previous failed attempts in 1524 and 1526 Pizarro was very determined having already seen the riches of the Incas. The Spaniards based their attack from Rodadero Hill. The first night of the attack the Incas gained head way when Juan Pizarro, Francisco’s brother was killed by a strike to the head by a stone fired from an Inca slingshot. The second night the Spaniards devised a plan; launching a surprise attack with ladders the Spaniards forced the Incas into the 3 tall towers in Sacsayhuaman massacring them all.