The Inca road – Qhapaq Ñan
The impressive Inca road network had an initial length of 60,000 km and linked territories of the current nations of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. 39,000 kilometers survive to this day. The Inca trail to Machu Picchu is one of the best engineering works, made entirely by hand, unaware of the existence of the wheel or iron. Ironically, it may have also sped up the invasion process; The Spanish were able to reach all corners of the empire.
The Incas knew one or two things about water
Machu Picchu is the amazing Inca city of Machu Picchu that is visited by around 3,000 people per day, it is built in the middle of two mountains and is one of the most energetic places on the planet, but there is something that most people do not know; the wonder does not end with constructions such as the temple of the sun or the temple of the Condor, the wonder continues below. Machu Picchu was built on complex systems of channels, drainage and underground irrigation, preventing the intense rainforests of the Amazon rainforest from damaging its more than 150 structures, its agricultural terraces on the slopes of the mountain, or the network of roads that reached she.
The complex canal system and Inca road drainage
This same amazing way of draining water was used on the Inca trail and has allowed it to be maintained to this day. In almost all the Inca constructions you can see a true exhibition of the great dimension and compression that the Incas had of the water, and how they applied it when building their cities, roads and others. Every year, water destroys hundreds of modern roads. But the Inca road network has been maintained for hundreds of years, in most cases without any maintenance. INCA TRAIL
The Inca trail, like Machu Picchu, was built taking into account the probability of the intense earthquakes that sporadically occur in this territory. This small detail has made engineers and architects obsess, when they study them seeking to benefit from that knowledge.
Sustainability is the key to success and the Incas knew this very well; They paid attention to every detail of local conditions, used local materials and avoided at all costs altering the natural landscape, “the amazing natural landscape” of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
Steps were built in the steepest places to dissipate the energy of the water and counteract erosion; At high altitudes, they paved the road with rocks to protect the surface from ice and snowfall. If the path was to have supporting walls, there were holes that allowed water to drain.
The Inca trail is part of nature
Sustainability is claimed to have been the key to success in making the journey last. Ramiro Matos is the chief curator of the exhibition, he is a native of the Quechua language and grew up traveling the Inca road network.
The Incas were concerned with preserving the environment by making the road part of nature. “This path is not just a physical route, it is a cosmological route and it is considered alive.” Ramiro Matos says.
The Kallawaya (itinerant healers) use the Inca path to recycle their energy; They say that “the Inca way has a spirit.”
The capital of the Inca empire was Cusco, all roads started from this city; the routes and sacred places were marked with Huacas. He finished Huaca or Waca gathers all the sacred places for the Incas; temples, shrines, tombs, and others of nature, extremely beautiful.
Unesco declared the Inca road network as a World Heritage Site in 2014 and many of its sections are still traveled by people from the many ethnic groups in the vast Andes region.
The Incas are remembered for their special predilection for human sacrifice, including some children; And although we know that their environmentalist side does not take away certain negative characteristics, we have to recognize the genius of the Incas to carry out constructions such as the Inca road network.