The Mausoleum of Revash: when the dead watch over the valley

Revash Mausoleum: incredible view on the mountainside

  • Mausoleum of Revash

    The Mausoleum of Revash: when the dead watch over the valley

The eastern part of Peru is covered by a dense tropical forest. There is a reason for this, because a famous river flows through the country in the north: the Amazon. A department of Peru was named after him. There is a rare and beautiful sight: the Mausoleum of Revash. The necropolis comes from the Chachapoyas culture and was used between 1100 and 1300 as a burial site.

The Mausoleum was built in the middle of a rock wall and runs in line through it. Above the three-storey facades, which look like small brick houses with their roofs, the wall rises abruptly, below which it falls. The colors used to paint the mausoleum are still largely preserved: cream and dull red. The decorative drawings in the form of animal and human motifs, circles and other symbols on the faces of the rocks are conspicuous. In addition, the T ornaments and the cross forms are integrated into the walls.

Although the Chachapoyas were a relatively late civilization in Peru, they were not influenced by the Incas. This may be due to the remote location of the sphere of influence of this culture. However, the Incas then conquered this area and subdued the Chachapoyas in 1475. The mausoleum was discovered in the last century when a researcher arrived in this remote area. Other sites of the Chachapoyas were discovered only a few years ago. This makes them one of the new discoveries of the testimonies of ancient cultures in Peru.

A hike?

The mausoleum is not easy to reach. The visitor must take a two-hour hike up the mountain before he can see it up close. This is not always easy: the road is paved at the beginning, towards the end it is only formed by land. Especially in the rainy season, the muddy road is a challenge, but the foggy environment has its own atmosphere.

However, in the dry season, mixed between green and a large amount of yellow from dry grasses, the road is easily accessible. The path leads through lush vegetation, again and again a view over the valley and the mountains behind opens up. Partially inhabited houses can be found along the way. Locals recommend riding, the most common and effective means of transportation in the area. The route can be done a little faster on horseback than on foot, and it is also a very special and original experience.

Entering the interior of the mausoleum is forbidden, but during the ascent you can see the outer walls, appear again and again among the trees. It is best to bring a pair of binoculars, since you can not get closer than 100 meters, the area is under protection. Possible starting point are the towns of Leymebamba and San Bartolo, which deserve a visit.

The meaning of Revash’s Mausoleum

The mountain where the mausoleum is located was venerated by the Chachapoyas as sacred. Therefore, the location of the mausoleum is not a coincidence. The view over the valley had a special meaning for the Chachapoyas, only select and powerful people were buried in this place. The facades, visible from the outside, form only a small part of the complex: in the cave inside the mountain, the tombs form small “villages”, they were collective tombs. The investigations found in the tombs feathers, necklaces, ceramics and bones, which were placed with the dead as an addition to the tomb. At that time, people could only enter the interior through the side entrances, the facades have no openings in the doors.

Mausoleum of Revash

Province Chachapoyas
District Leymebamba
Department: Amazonas
Municipalidad