The Temple of the Condor Machu Picchu holds a really unique place which is really elaborated and its devoted to the Condor, the Condor was a really important deity of the sacralized and magic world of the Incas, he was the one that could bring the souls from the earth to the infinite where they met with the sun god, for that reason the condor is always present in the Incan myths.
This area is defined by ladders and walls, to access it you have to go through a double door that marks the hierarchy and activities that were held in this area located in a corner and has a lot of closed and open rooms with one or two floors.
The central supplier is a courtyard that has a condor in the middle of a triangular flower as a central point, at the middle of the condor there is a carved head, beak and eyes as well as the ruff that the real condor has around its neck, the wings have a very clear representation and the body points to the inside of a cave that represents the loin of the bird in a symbolic transition from life to death where one can be carried on the wings of the condor to the sun god, in the underground cave (the body) we find offerings, ceramics and bones of camelids that confirm this as a ceremonial center.
The Inca sculpting has hardly been studied within the fine arts of the Incas, which is totally unfair. These artists were looking for beauty not only in reproduction or tracing of what is real but also from their imagination, sometimes with pure lineal abstractions that were breathtakingly beautiful and at the same time with an awestriking modern appearance. One marvels over the genius of the ancient Peruvians, architects and sculptors that did what they wanted with the rocks, there are little known about these fabulous artists from Cusco that were the first in the artistic and esthetic abstraction.
In the condor temple there is a conjunction where the sculpture is part of the architecture instead of just being an ornament. In the temple they used the cave to carve outcrops of stone that were in fusion with the nature and the work of man. The wings are represented by two outcrops that look like they are suspended at their ends which gives them the appearance of being in the air and that of a condor in flight.
This representation makes us think of why the Incas that had such knowledge in stone carving didn’t make more artistic and realistic sculpture of their gods like the condor, the snake or the mountains: the natural explanation is that all of their work shows respect to the “Pachamama” or mother earth that is integrated with great skill making sure that the form of their deities are as little altered as possible.
On the loin of the condor there is a half circular room whit three big niches, in the middle of each of them there is a smaller one, at the sides you can see holes that were used to fasten the mummies that were placed in these big niches, it’s suggested that these openings could also have been used to tie up the wrists of prisoners, but this isn’t likely as they would have to break their arms to make them fit through the holes.
At the upper level and on the back of the condor there are nine trapezoid niches in a wall that adjoins with the terraces of the plaza, each of them with sufficient space for a man to kneel looking at the square and the temple of the trilogy. This was probably the place where the mummies were kept facing the square so that they could participle in the daily life of the city in a symbolic way. The architectural quality of the condor temple and its placement in the city confirms that it had a ceremonial function. The distribution of the rooms is designed in function with the rock that represents the condor that was surrounded by all of the mummies of their ancestors that were transported by the condor to the sun god.
The complex is completed by a room with two floors that are in front of the condor, it has two entrance doors and the second floor is at level with the courtyard of the condor, this room was probably the home of the priest in charge of the worshipping of the condor god. To get to the first floor you have to go by a ladder, in an adjoining room we find cages for the breeding of guinea pigs, there are also rocks with soot that shows that this was also used as a kitchen; the other ladders goes to an interior terrace. This area also has water which is uncommon in Machu Picchu.
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The condor was a sacred bird for the Incas believed to bring the souls to the infinite, and has an important place in the citadel of Machu Picchu, the temple of the condor it has an important place in the citadel, the carvings on rock and the shape of the temple room walls resembling the condor wings with the head carved in the center, the place was used for ceremonial purposes and shows that also had mummies placed in trapezoid windows probably belonging some governors or very important people, also has some adjacent rooms well decorated, it also has water very uncommon in Machu Picchu.
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