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This great archaeological complex was located in the district of P'isaq province of Calca, 33 km. east of the city of Cusco. 

There is a strange coincidence between the distances that unite P'isaq, Cusco and Pikillacta. The distance between Cusco and P'isaq is 30 km., and it is exactly the same distance between P'isaq and Pikillacta, and also 30 km. from Cusco to Pikillacta. When one joins the three cities along a straight line, one forms an equilateral triangle. This has sparked a great deal of speculation about this incredible architectural genius that the incas had.

View panoramic of the Intiwatana District

Cover of room of P'isaq.

The beauty of its walls, which are made of huge blocks of polished stone with extraordinary symmetry and a unique mastery of the stone, leave the visitor puzzled. One?s first reaction is surprise, which later turns into deep respect for the creators of these ancient buildings, silent witnesses of the greatness of an empire.

?On the shores of the Willkamayu, the god?s sacred river that runs through carved stone streams to curb its fury, one can see the light and shadowy lines of the P'isaq terraces, the great city of doves. A city of legend that was built on top of a blue rock, almost in air to see more of the most beautiful Cusco Valleys", wrote Peruvian historian Alfonsina Barrionuevo of this ancient Inca city. P'isaq is formed by a group of homes, aqueduct, roads, bridges, a cemetery, walls and great terracing.

When Antonio Raymondi, the Italian naturalist and geographer, visited P'isaq, he was astonished by the beauty of its walls and wrote the following: "what we must admire most in P'isaq is the fine carving and the perfect union of the rocks that are so well assembled, that one can hardly see very fine straight, circled or crooked lines, as to demonstrate the difficulty of the cut and the wittiness of the execution. From distance to distance one can see doors, streets, stairs, towers, quarters and living quarters; suspended in the highest peaks and where the imagination of the most daring constructor would barely dare to raise a building".

The translation of this Quechua word is unclear. Peruvian historian Victor Angles says it is a "name that does not have a translation in another language, because specifically it does not qualify as any object or event"..."The Spanish form is Pisac, from the word P'isaq, which at the same time is also written Pisaqa, which is a bird from the chicken family, a bird that abounds in the place, similar to the pigeon or lluthu."

An unconfirmed version says that the Inca city of P'isaq has the shape of this bird, which was the god of the tribe who lived in this area before the incas.


There are no precise facts about the first settlement in this area, but there is no doubt that Tiahuanacos, Waris and other cultures had a major cultural influence on the southeastern. It is assumed that the entire area, which later was occupied by P'isaq, was already settled around the tenth and eleventh centuries, when the Inca boom began; since it has fertile and productive lands that had to be occupied by one of the groups that originated in the area.

It is possible that P'isaq was a very important regional capital, thanks to its fertile land and strategic location. When it was incorporated to the Inca Empire it took on new architectural, agricultural and hydraulic techniques, in a way that they built a city with Inca characteristics that is compared to the Imperial Capital.
Explorer Charles Weiner considers these constructions as an excellent example of the Inca?s architecture in its best and purest style.

Pisaq Chinchero
Calca Moray
Urubamba Maras
Ollantaytambo .
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