Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is at the eastern end of the Sacred Valley. The valley is narrower here than at Urubamba or Pisac, with the mountains closer on each side, making for a more dramatic setting.

Ollantaytambo is basically the last stop along the Sacred Valley. It is built into a steep mountainside, and was a strategic outpost for defense, as well as a religious center. It is here that Manco Inca retreated after his defeat at Saqsayhuaman.

He was nearly successful in holding off the Spanish at Ollantaytambo, but after bringing in more troops, Pizarro was successful in forcing his retreat, successfully ending the native rebellion.

The origin of the name has several approaches. According to the Aymara language, Ollantaytambo derives from the word ulla-nta-wi, which means place to look downwards; the word tambo, is added subsequently. For Quechua language, the name derives from the word Ollanta (which is the name of an Incan Captain whose story is known through literature) and the word tambo, a Spanish derivation of the Quechua word tampu; which means city that offers lodging, food and comfort to travelers.

Testimonies of Ollantaytambo inhabitants give an account of the conflicts and aversions related to the Incas. The history says that the inhabitants refused to pay the taxes imposed by Inca Pachacútec, and this is why they were murdered with impunity.

Ollantaytambo is another national archaeological park to which different functions had been ascribed. Just as Sacsayhuamán, it is considered a military construction strategically located to protect the city from possible invasions of forest, religious and agricultural ethnos. It is also said that it was constructed to set up roads towards the Antisuyo.


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