Stone altar at the Ñaupa Iglesia, Peru

Who Built the Fascinating Ñaupa Iglesia? Mysterious Ruins in the Sacred Valley of Peru

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Ñaupa Iglesia is a fascinating Peruvian ruin in the Sacred Valley of the high Andes. It is located between Ollantaytambo and Urubamba; Ollantaytambo being only 30 Km (18.64 miles) from Machu Picchu.

Geometry and Architecture of a Pre-Inca Site

Although tradition credits Ñaupa Iglesia as Inca origin, this does not stand detailed scrutiny as the Inca did not have the technology. Inca construction does surround the site though. Ñaupa Iglesia predates the Inca - how long we do not know, but possibly thousands of years.  Ñaupa Iglesia also has some very interesting geometry that shows a detailed understanding of astronomy and vibration. Even more fascinating is that the geometry links Ñaupa Iglesia with Egypt - certain angles and ratios can also be found in the great pyramids of Egypt.

Another interesting element of Ñaupa Iglesia is the rock; Bluestone is in stark contrast with the surrounding sandstone. Bluestone contains a type of crystal that was used in early radio receivers for its excellent piezoelectric qualities and it’s magnetic.

The Ñaupa Iglesia site. (Munay Medicine)

The Ñaupa Iglesia site. ( Munay Medicine )

Questions on Cosmology and Evidence of Destruction

The Inca inherited Ñaupa Iglesia and they gave it the name Ñaupa Waka . The meaning of this is explained by my friend Pedro Luis below. Pedro also discusses the complete site, which has other constructions that are of Inca origin and how Ñaupa Waka fits Andean (Inca) cosmology. So, was this cosmology inherited from the Ñaupa Waka builders? There are many questions about this amazing ruin. Pedro provides some of the views of others and in certain cases his own interpretation.

Ñaupa Waka has been deliberately destroyed. Photographs show bore holes and from them it can be clearly seen that large pieces of rock have been removed. Another question is who did this and why?

Drilling into hard rock needs special tools and these were not available to the Spanish in the 16th Century. There are parallels elsewhere that suggest these holes were probably drilled during construction. There really doesn’t seem any alternative, considering the technology required and the depth of the holes. However they were drilled, it is obvious that some form of explosive, probably black powder, was later placed inside them and the site was ‘blown up’.

Example of a hole that has been bored into rock at the Ñaupa Iglesia site. (Munay Medicine)

Example of a hole that has been bored into rock at the Ñaupa Iglesia site. ( Munay Medicine )

Powerful Energy

Why this was done, probably by the Spanish, is open to conjecture, however, it is my hypothesis that it was due to the Spanish recognition of the powerful energy of the site. It didn’t fit within Christian dogma.

Ñaupa Waka is a fascinating site and the Sacred Valley has a special energy of its own, sites like Ñaupa Waka focus this energy, words cannot describe it, it has to be experienced.

By: David Walton (

What’s in a Name?

Ñaupa means ‘Church’ (from the Quechua language: ñaupa: old, ancient). The Ñaupas are inhabitants of the spirit world, or of worlds before our own. Mythology has it that they can travel across space by manifesting themselves around sunset or dawn at certain sacred locations. According to Andean tradition, a meeting with the Ñaupas can be extremely dangerous, their secret dwellings as well as the portals through which they cross into this world, are better left undisturbed.

Waka is a Quechuan word for place or house. To the local people Ñaupa Iglesia is known as Ñaupa Waka.

Construction at the Ñaupa Iglesia, Peru.

Construction at the Ñaupa Iglesia, Peru. (Matthew Knot/ CC BY NC SA 2.0 )

Elements of the Site

Dominating Ñaupa Waka is the cave ceiling forming an inverted ‘V’. It has been cut and smoothed with laser-like precision to create two different yet specific angles: 60 and 52 degrees. There is only one other major place on earth where these two numbers appear side by side, the angle slopes of the two major pyramids at Giza.

In the late intermediate Inca period, a set of terraces were created to grow maize (corn), potatoes, and other plants offered to ancestors and Divinities.

View of rock-cut doorway in the cave at Ñaupa Waka.

View of rock-cut doorway in the cave at Ñaupa Waka. ( Néstor PS )

The bedrock is sliced with great precision to create a shallow door that goes nowhere. The same design appears in ancient Persia and Egypt. Then for good measure, they carved an additional altar with three alcoves into an outcrop of bluestone.

Building Ñaupa Waka: The Theory of Alfredo Gamarra


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