The Temple of Condor in Machu Picchu


templo el condor  Mapi
In the Southeast of Machu Picchu there is a marvelous rock structure with the shape of a condor with its wings fully extended. It may had been a sacred temple or the area where the urban prisons were.

The Temple of Condor forms a type of labyrinth with a rock-sculpted Andean Condor in the middle of it. It has its wings extended as if it were about to land.

The East sector of the citadel is where the major constructions of Incas’ civilization are. The buildings are pointing to the sun in order to make the stars measurements possible. The Temple of Condor is located right here, as well as the Temple of Sun, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Rock and the Aqllawasi. In the South of the Temple of Condor there is a residential area that was devoted to the upper class. This area communicated with the temple through a series of courtyards.

Many expert historians believe to have explained the location of the Temple of Condor after having discovered the Condor’s rock structure. They estimate this was the place where the Inca civilization worshiped their gods and celebrated their rituals.

What was the Temple of Condor purpose?

There are several theories about the social function of the Temple of Condor. One of these points out the religious aspect: the Condor was a worshiped sacred bird for all the Andean people.

The second theory tries to demonstrate that in this particular area the Machu Picchu prisons were located, in which the prisoners were sacrificed as an offering to the condors. The cells are located in the underground room of the Condor’s Temple.

It is indisputable that this was a place specifically built for worshiping the “Apu Kuntur” (condor), which was one of the three sacred animals in the Inca culture, as well as the puma (mountain lion) and the serpent.  Thus its function was strictly religious. The condor was and still is a very special deity in the Andes, but the ceremonies that were carried out in its honor during the Inca Empire are unknown.

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