Visit the archaeological ruins of the pre-Inca culture known as Tiahuanaco or Tiawanaku, a surreal ruined ancient city near Lake Titicaca in western Bolivia.
The ruins of Tiahuanaco are located at 3,885 above sea level. They are 70 km from the city of La Paz, by road, and about 15 km. from Lake Titicaca.
The Tiahuanaco culture is one of the longest in South America since 1500 BC. to 1200 A.D. (27 centuries) and its physical domains extended to 600,000 km2. They represent an important development in the sciences, techniques, agriculture and architecture.
The influence of the Tiahuanaco culture has been found in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Chile.
The Gate of the Sun. This monument of Tiwanaku is known worldwide as the greatest example of the degree of perfection that raised culture, both for art, and for the symbolism that
treasures its low reliefs. This lithic portal worked on a single block of andesite stone of
approximately 10 tons. of weight- it was not, in the past, an isolated piece but, rather, part of a
larger building that could be located on the top of the Akapana Pyramid or in the same
kalasasaya, where there are several pieces of the same material of this door.
Pyramid of Akapana.- It was a pyramid of 800 m. of perimeter and 18 m. high formed by 7
stepped terraces. In the upper part there were buildings destined for religious cults and
astrology. Different techniques were used for the construction, so it is presumed that it took a
long time to get up.
Kalasasaya (kala = stone; saya or sayasta = stopped) or Temple of the Piedra Paradas, has an exact design linked to astrology, from this site they were verified with the duration of the solar year and the change of each season. In both equinoxes (autumn: March 21 and spring:
September 21) the sun was rising through the center of the main entrance door. On the winter
solstice (June 21) the Sun was born at the murary angle N.E. the summer solstice (December
21) was marked by the birth of the Sun at the angle murario S.E. This accuracy is an example of the scientific and technical progress of the Tiahuanaco culture.
The Ponce Monolith is named after the Bolivian archaeologist (Carlos Ponce) who discovered it in 1957. He is one of the best accomplished and preserved figures in all of Tiahuanaco. The
human figure in his hands holds a kero (sacred vessel) and also highlights the figures of animals such as pumas, condors and eagles.