2012/09/06

Piquillacta

The word Piquillacta is a compound quechua word that means lousy people (piki = louse; llaqta = town), although it is also called "city of fleas". Despite the fact that the original name of the area is unknown. The site began to draw Pikillaqta since the last years of the colonial period or at the beginning of the Republican. Some chroniclers refer to this area with the name of "Muyuna", "Muyna" or "Mohina".

Piquillacta structures comprised of more than 700 structures, 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 qolqas (storehouses) and other buildings.

The city should have hosted a population of approximately 10,000 people. Some researchers suggest that in inkan times, Piquillaqta was a city for "mitimaes" (groups of people or tribes that moved from one place to another).

The distribution of its buildings is harmonic and symmetrical, in blocks with straight streets that saw several sectors, as the administrative, ceremonial, urban and defensive, and a system of roads. Its buildings had 2 or 3 floors, while some walls came to measure up to 12 meters in height.

The walls, made of mud and stone, are thin at the top and wide at the base. These were covered with mud of 9 cm of thickness, which were then painted with plaster. Soils were made, also with a type of plaster thick, giving the impression of being a White City.

Near the city is the Lucre or Huacarpay, lagoon at an approximate altitude of 3,200 meters above sea level. This mirror of water has been a haven for local wildlife, such as wild ducks, geese and flamingos, thanks to an enabling environment by the totora reeds and the farming terraces in the Rocky sides of the mountains. Trout and pejerrey is also fished. Now the situation has changed. The lagoon is 1 km. outside the original place, and at a level lower, approximately 150 meters, so there is no water.

This lagoon holds large, beautiful stories told through generations to the delight of those who want to listen to them. It is said that once a beautiful princess named Qori T'ika (flower Dorada), seeing that his city had no water, so their fields flourished only in the rainy season, wanted to help his people, which decided to offer his love who could get water for the city.

There were three young Princes willing to win the love of Qori T'ika: Paukar, who was qolla (from the "Qollao" or Altiplano), built an aqueduct in the mountains, but due to the altitude, the water was unable to reach the city. Tuyasta, that was canchi (province of Canchis), built an aqueduct surrounding the mountain slopes, but could not meet its target; Finally, Sunqo Rumi, who was quechua, born at medium altitude, did a great job of hydraulic engineering and complied with the request of the Princess, providing water for the city.

Today, we can see two of the three aqueducts built by the Cuzco, in the middle of the mountain opposite (to the other side of the lagoon and the eastern side of the town of Lucre). Of the three channels, only the upper reached Piquillaqta, covering approximately 10 kms.

In the year 1927 was found 40 practicing turquoise that are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Cusco and a stone sculpture representing a life-size puma.

The Park has some other interesting places such as Choquepuqyo, Kañaraqay, Minaspata, Amarupata, Salitriyuq, Tamboraqay, Qaranqayniyuq and Rayallaqta.

Next to the lagoon operates a small hostel and restaurant. This town is the second oldest of the Peru, built in 1861 textile factory.

original source: cusco_peru.org


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