Ollantaytambo

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Ollantaytambo
Cuzco, Peru

Around the mid-15th century, the Inca emperor Pachacuti conquered and razed Ollantaytambo; the town and the nearby region were incorporated into his personal estate. The emperor rebuilt the town with sumptuous constructions and undertook extensive works of terracing and irrigation in the Urubamba Valley; the town provided lodging for the Inca nobility while the terraces were farmed by yanaconas, retainers of the emperor. After Pachacuti's death, the estate came under the administration of his panaqa, his family clan. During the Spanish conquest of Peru Ollantaytambo served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the native resistance against the conquistadors. He fortified the town and its approaches in the direction of the former Inca capital of Cusco, which had fallen under Spanish domination. In 1536, on the plain of Mascabamba, near Ollantaytambo, Manco Inca defeated a Spanish expedition blocking their advance from a set of high terraces and flooding the plain. However, despite his victory, Manco Inca did not consider his position tenable so the following year he withdrew to the heavily forested site of Vilcabamba.



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