Day 161 – The capable Incas

2009/02/17 § Leave a comment


Stone foundation by IncasThe foundations of the city of Cusco are partially still the remains of the once proud Inca-city of Cusco. The Spaniards did not remove these, probably owing to the fact that the bolder used for building these walls are massive. They are cut perfectly into shape to fit into each other. Each one has a different shape and the rounded appearance of these seemingly randomly shaped stones has a captivating beauty to it.

The system of construction can be found almost everywhere the Inca decided to build something and as mentioned in an earlier entry the Spanish were highly impressed by this building technique which was superior to theirs. The Spanish hence just left the massive Inca foundation and build their stuff on top of it. The locals in Cusco still have an expression for these assembled buildings. They say the lower parts were build by the Incas and the upper parts by the Incapaz- which is Spanish for “incapable”.

On the other hand the Incas were quite incapable themselves. Legend has it that one of the reasons why the Incas despite their superiority by numbers did not defeat the Spanish in Cusco is that the Spanish fled into one of the Incas´ most holy buildings. The Incas burned down buildings where they suspected the Spanish but left the one building untouched that they had religious superstitions about. Ironically the Spanish on the other hand thought they had been protected by a Christian saint. Therefore they did convert the Inca building into a church and the superstition prevailed, just with different colors.

Again we can see that having a world-view based on superstition can be lethal.

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