History of The fortress of Kuelap
Kuelap is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Peru and is older than Machu Picchu. It also stands out for being the largest stone archaeological center built in pre-Columbian times.
The Chachapoyas were a nation formed by a group of curacazgos. This political organization, governed by the Curaca, has left many beautiful monuments along the Utcubamba River. Little is known about the origin of this culture, although it is believed that they were farmers and merchants. The Kuelap Fortress took many years to build, more precisely since 500 AD. C to 1570 AD C. It has imposing walls up to 20 meters high that are a clear example of monumental architecture and state-of-the-art engineering. Due to its strategic location, Kuelap was designed for defensive purposes.
About three thousand people lived inside the Fortress of Kuelap and another seven thousand around it. However, they were only a small part of the 400,000 inhabitants of this civilization, which populated the current regions of San Martín and Amazonas. In 1532, the Spanish Diego de Alvarado, after conquering the Incas, arrived in Kuelap and moved all its inhabitants to a new city. These towns, which the Spanish knew as “indian reductions”, were settled in the lower parts of the valleys, with easier access.
The city fell into oblivion, until, in January 1843, Juan Crisóstomo Nieto, judge of Chachapoyas, arrived in the valley of the Utcubamba River to mediate in a judicial conflict. As he walked through the land, the local inhabitants directed him to a place where a large fortress stood, hidden by the undergrowth. From that moment Kuelap, which had been abandoned for almost two centuries, was opened to the West.
During the following years, The fortress of Kuelap began to attract the interest of important researchers who dedicated themselves to the study of the place.