Sacsayhuamán (also known as Saksaq Waman, Sacsahuaman or Saxahuaman) is a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire.
The complex is as many other Inca constructions made of large polished dry stone walls, each boulder carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.
The site, at an altitude of 3,701 m, was added as part of the city of Cusco to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.
Located on a steep hill that overlooks the city, it contains an impressive view of the valley to the southeast. Surface collections of pottery at Sacsayhuaman indicate that the earliest occupation of the hill top dates back at least a millennium.
Because of its location high above Cuzco and its immense terrace walls, this area of Sacsayhuaman is frequently referred to as a fortress.
The importance of its military functions was highlighted in 1556 when Manco Inca lay siege to Cuzco.
Much of the fighting occurred in and around Sacsayhuaman as it was critical for maintaining control over the city.
It is clear from descriptions of the siege, as well as from excavations at the site, that there were towers on its summit as well as a series of other buildings.
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