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Located at an altitude of 3,000 meters, in the cloud forest of the department of Amazonas, Kuelap is proof of the engineering skills of the Chachapoya, a tribe who inhabited the area from 1000-1400 AD.
The towering ramparts that protect the citadel of Kuelap are studded with three guardposts, a tower and three very narrow entrances which could be
defended by a single warrior. The walls stand 8 meters high and completely surround the complex. The complex of Kuelap must have been impregnable to invading warriors from neighboring kingdoms, although finally the Inca soldiers managed to conquer the Chachapoyas.
The citadel of Kuelap is made of stone, but unlike Inca architecture, featured fantastic and animal figures, and changed the traditional pattern of geometric designs. The common buildings at the Fortress of Kuelap were circular, and some of these have been reconstructed so that the few visitors who come here (due to the difficult access) can see how the people lived here, amidst orchids and bromeliads.
Ancient Peruvians were highly successful in integrating with nature. The Chachapoya, whose secrets still lie buried in the dense jungle, created harmonic structures in a privileged site, a timeless land where the jungle-clad hills are wreathed by mist: The Fortress and Citadel of Kuelap.
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