La Fortaleza de Collique and its famous north wall

The ancient culture of the Colli in Lima

  • La Fortaleza de Colique

In the area of Lima today lived a culture that has almost been forgotten: the Colli. But there is still a great remnant: The Fortaleza de Collique. It was the last refuge of the Colli when the Incas arrived in the 15th century to conquer the country. The Fortaleza de Collique is located in the district of Comas, in the northeast of Lima. This district is certainly not among the most visited in Lima, lovers of ancient cultures must take the road, but to learn what this fortress is about.

La Fortaleza de Collique

It is believed that Colli Castle was an administrative and religious center of this culture, which has characteristics of diverse Andean cultures of Peru. It is also quite true that the rulers of the culture were in the fortress while the lower people lived on the slopes of the mountains.

The Fortaleza de Collique has several zones. One was dedicated to ceremonial occasions. Another area was the living room, a third was a ceremonial place and connected to the old ceremonial area by a staircase.

Of course, the fortress also showed a fortification, as well as a cemetery. Unlike other pre-Columbian cities made of mud bricks, the Fortaleza de Collique was built mainly of stone.

The north wall: Muralla de Tungasuca

The northern wall of the Fortaleza de Collique has gained notoriety as Muralla de Tungasuca. This has to do mainly with the fact that it was discovered in aerial photographs of the 1940s that the wall was once much higher than the remains show today.

It is even believed that the wall was so long that it reached the shore of today’s Oquendo beach. The dramatic decline caused the desire to protect and promote the remains of the Colli culture, which ruled since 1100 AD in the valley of the Chillón River. The reason for the abandonment of the archaeologically valuable place was the constant growth of Lima.

Especially in the outskirts, immigration was poorly controlled, the sites of the first villages disappeared because they provided the new settlers with free construction material. The investigation of the Colli is not yet complete, several historians even argue about the name. One of the people who works intensely in this culture and its remains is Enrique Niquin Castillo, who opened a small museum in the district of Comas and presents several findings of the Colli.

The YIHDES association is involved in the excavations that take place in the Tungasuca Wall. Visitors to Lima can expect more facts about Colli to come to light in the near future, which makes Lima (and especially the Comas district) a cultural attraction.

La Fortaleza de Collique

Address:
Av. Tupac Amaru Ecke Sta. Cruz