Didem Doğan

The Saqsaywaman Castle: An Empire Defeated by a Few Horsemen

A page from history: we are at the Saqsaywaman Castle which is nothing but a pile of big stones in the middle of fields today. It took the Incas a while, but they finally realised that the aim of the Spanish was not simply to grab all the gold and leave, but to stay here and rule the country. First their gold was stolen, then their land, and finally their wives. They were at a loss as to what else they had to give up in order to lead honourable lives when an unexpected member of the dynasty, young and naïve Manco Inca rose up against the seemingly invincible horsemen and tried to re-capture Cuzco with a siege. The Saqsaywaman Castle was one of the most important bases of this insurrection which lasted for months. How come the rulers of the great Inca Empire which had appeared on the stage of history in the last centuries, who had founded a civilization with a complex and well-ordered structure in the harsh geography dominated by the Andes were defeated by a few horsemen? The main reasons include the civil war among the Incas, and hard to believe the Spanish horses that they were not used to and did not know how to deal with, and the belief that the Spanish were nothing but bandits who would presumably leave the country once they acquired the gold they were after…