Raqchi is an Inca archaeological site in the Cusco region in Peru also known as the Temple of Wiracocha, one of its constituents. A town nearby has the same name. Both lie along the Vilcanota (Urubamba) River. The site has experienced a recent increase in tourism in recent years, with 83,334 visitors to the site in 2006, up from 8,183 in 2000 and 452 in 1996.
The complex of Raqchi consists of several different areas each designated with a specific function.
Temple of Wiracocha
The most prominent structure is the Temple of Wiracocha, an enormous rectangular two-story roofed structure that measures by . This structure consists of a central adobe wall some 18 to 20 meters in height with an andesite base. Windows and doors allow passage. It is flanked on each side by a row of eleven columns. The foundations measure for both the wall and the columns are classic high Inca stonework with the remaining height built of adobe.
Prior to its destruction by the Spaniards, the temple had what is believed to be the largest single roof in the Incan Empire, having its peak at the central wall, then stretching over the columns and some beyond on each side. The huge proportions of the temple, and its prominence on the site explain why the whole complex is also sometimes referred to as the Temple of Wiracocha.
Adjoining the temple to the north are twelve living quarters, which would have housed both priests and local administrators. The living area is divided into separate squared lots the largest of which is roughly 4x6m. All have niches in their walls which might have been used for storage, though some of the niches have cover posts, suggesting they may have held sacred objects.
To the eastern side of the temple are some 100 round qolqas (storehouses) in parallel lines, each measuring some in diameter. These storehouses were used to hold grains, such as corn and quinoa, that would have been used for ceremonial purposes. The storehouses are also unique as unlike other structures throughout the empire they are not square cornered. The reason for this is unknown.
Fairground and baths
To the west of the temple is a large field, now used by locals for farming, that might have been a fairground or to hold overflow of worshipers from the temple itself. On the far western edge of this field is a set of baths similar to ceremonial baths at important sites throughout the empire.
Master Plan for Raqchi Archaeological Park Instituto Nacional de Cultura Cusco.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Raqchi