the Incas had an impressively large system of roads here in Ecuador,
measuring about 5,000 kilometers in length; a larger system than
the Roman Empire had. Today, there exists few remnants of this road
system, but what is left is incredibly interesting.
about 17 km from Cañar are the historical ruins of Ingapirca (meaning
Wall of the Inca), stand as the most important archiological memory
in Ecuador. Originally, it was contrusted as an inn for Incan couriers
and other travellers, later fortified under the control of the Cañaris
of Huayna Capac, later being expanded and used as a lodge for troops,
a resting place for the emperor and a temple, build in the style
of Coricancha, the main temple of Cuzco.The ruins of Ingapirca,
an ellipse-shaped fortress made of green diorite, is still appreciated
with great pleasure and by the whole world today, as it was
500 years ago.
Unfortunatelly, after the domination of the Spaniards, Ingapirca
was dismantled. The rocks from the walls were stolen and used to
contruct neighbouring Spanish settlements. Despite this deconstruction,
there were some constructions which were preserved in the surroundings
where the temple once stood. Some of these are Ingachungana, where
there is a ceremonial altar at which most likely sacrifices had
taken place, the "Silla del Inca" (Throne of the Inca),
a throne carved out of rock, and "Cara del Inca" (Face
of the Inca), a natural rock formation.
though they don't have the colossal dimensions of Cuzco, Ingapirca
is, however, a direct testimony of how the Incas lived, their mechanisms
of defense and integration of other ancient Incan constructions.
site of Ingapirca, or Wall of the Inca is located 2° 32' south of
the equator and 78° 52' west of Greenwich. The ruins are placed
at about 3160 meters above sea level, and the average temperature
there is usually between 6º and 12º C.