Qollqanpata & Planetarium in Cusco

Join me to know what is inside Qollqanpata archaeological site.

It is very likely that on your way to Sacsayhuaman you will just go by and see the San Cristobal church:

Church of San Cristobal in Cusco

San Cristobal Church: it has a great view of the city!

…and the Inca site next to it known as Qollcanpata:

The site of Qollqanpata

Qollqanpata site next to San Cristobal church

But, last week I told you this site hides a “treasure” and now I am going to show it to you.

And please recall this pic and sign as what I will show you is inside this private property (but no problem if you enter; just watch out for the dogs…it is worth the effort):


My Remembrances of this Area:

When I was at school I read about it in the “Comentarios Reales de los Incas” by Garcilaso de la Vega, a Peruvian 16th-century chronicler. Garcilaso claims Qollcanpata (he writes Collcampata) was the most important neighborhood in Inca times and consisted of a series of terraces or andenes from the main square to Sacsayhuaman.

“cóllcam debe ser de dicción de la lengua particular de los incas, no sé que signifique; pata quiere decir andén, también significa grada de escalera, y porque los andenes se hacen en forma de escalera, les dieron este nombre”.

He states the first Inca, Manco Cápac, had his royal house built in this area. Some scholars reject this idea since Manco Cápac came from south and this site is located to the north.

The American archaeologist Ephraim George Squier, who explored Perú in the late 1800, also mentioned these terraces as well as some stone steps.

Garcilaso also adds he saw a large shed where Incas used to celebrate feasts:

“Yo alcancé della un galpón muy grande y espacioso, que servía de plaza, en días lluviosos, para solenizar en él sus fiestas principales; sólo aquel galpón quedaba en pie cuando salí del Cozco”.

I was really impressed by this information and years later I read the German scholar Ernst Wilhelm Middendorf (he visited Perú and Bolivia in 1885-88) mentioned a fine wall in this area.

I Felt Myself Like Indiana Jones:

A couple of years ago, I was thrilled and felt myself like Indiana Jones when I happened to see this historical wall and now I introduce it to you:


One of the finest Inca walls in Cusco city


A close-up shot to the door

And that is not all. This area should have been very important as there is a carved stone which seems to be the image of an idol which, as usual in these cases, Spanish destroyed. Juan Polo de Ondegardo, a Spanish chronicler, mentions this idol:

“estaba una piedra por ídolo; y el origen que tuvo fue haberla mandado adorar Pachacutec Inca porque dijo que cierto Señor se había convertido en la dicha piedra”.


An idol in Qollqanpata

What do you think? Would you try to see this treasure by yourself ?

A Bonus Attraction: The Planetarium:

I was on my way to Sacsayhuaman not hiking the ancient Inca trail this time but following the highway when I took this pic of the back of the “treasure”:


The fine wall and idol is between the trees. I took this pic from the highway to Sacsayhuaman.

One turn before reaching the entrance to Sacsayhuaman, I found the entrance to Llaullipata where there is The Planetarium.


Entrance to the Planetarium before getting Sacsayhuaman

Unfortunately, it was closed until the end of the rainy season, that is, til april. Further info on The Planetarium.

Related Posts:

Sacsayhuaman how it was built

Sacsayhuaman a wonder of the Incas

Findings in Sacsayhuaman


About Peru En RoUte

Natural-born backpack traveller around Peru
This entry was posted in Cusco and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Qollqanpata & Planetarium in Cusco

  1. La gran mayoria son mis fotos, de lo contrario pongo el nombre del autor de la foto.
    Es una cámara digital de bolsillo, ni recuerdo la marca 🙂

  2. Rafael says:

    Buenas fotos Sergio
    Supongo que son tuyas
    que clase de cámara has usado?

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