Qollqanpata Palace

Qollqanpata Palace is located near the fortress of Sacsayhuamán. It was built by order of the Inca Manco Capac (founder of the Inca Empire) and its name means «place where there are deposits.» It is considered one of the main buildings of the Inca culture. In this place the Inca and his Panaca harvested for the sun god.

During the conquest, Qollqanpata Palace was ceded to Cristóbal Paullo (an Inca descendant who worked for the Spanish crown). The devotion of this man was so great that he had a church built under the name of San Cristóbal. However, the temple was destroyed by the 1650 earthquake and later an adobe church was built.


It is located adjacent to Saqsaywaman, in its southern part. These were lands assigned to the Temple of the Sun of Saqsaywaman, It occupies an elevated and strategic part, from where the Huatanay Valley is dominated. Being one of the first palaces, it had to be built in a part where the approach of any individual towards the city of Cusco can be seen.


Qollqanpata was an important neighborhood in the time of the Incas, within it there were many houses but two in particular stand out: the Qollqanpata Palace and the shrine or huaca of «Sapantiana». This palace belonged to and was ordered to be built by Manco Capac, the first Inca. It was the best located within the city of Cusco. Upon the arrival of the Spanish, this place belonged to Diego de Almagro and is currently in the hands of the Church of San Cristóbal.

Its name would come from the derivation of qollqa, which corresponds to a construction intended to store goods and supplies. It seems that its construction was started by Huáscar, the twelfth Inca of Tahuantinsuyo. During the Spanish occupation it became the residence of Manco Inca, although after his uprising and later refuge in Vilcabamba. This was the first palace that was built and only those of royal blood could be in it and where great parties were held.

Who was Manco Cápac?

Manco Cápac or also called Ayar Manco, was founder and first governor of the Incas, according to a Colla legend (legend of Manco Cápac) he was a semi-divine nature hero, being the son of the Sun God (Inti).

Before Manco Cápac arrived in Cusco, the city of Cusco was the seat of pre-Inca tribes. Archeology has shown that the Cuzco area had a long life, before the time of the Incas. Agriculture had a betrayed history in this region, and in the time of Huari there was a great demographic density in Cusco, enough so that an administrative center like Piquillacta could function in its vicinity.

Cusco Foundation

Cusco was founded by Manco Cápac after facing various manors during the 13th century. All the legend about the «Origins of the Incas» are linked to the struggle between various lineages of Cusco for the seizure of power; struggle between lordships whose struggle ended with the triumph of Manco Cápac, Lord of Cusco, a city that since then became the capital of a kingdom that encompassed at least the Vilcanota valley and perhaps that of Urubamba.

General features

  • Manco Cápac was a Sinchi, who after the fall of the Tiahuanaco Empire decided to lead the emigration of his people to a fertile and favorable region.
  • He was protected by mastery over the arts of war.
  • He also had knowledge of agriculture, metallurgy and construction.
  • His overwhelming force had the breath of Solidarity in his people.
  • He had forged the traditional connection with a distant ancestral trunk, a totem to which they worshiped.
  • Without experiencing contrasts, he reached Paruro, and there he settled for some time; more, when approaching the place where he would found Cusco.
  • The natural inhabitants of the newly conquered lands resisted him.
  • He suffered some defeat and the death of some Sinchis who followed him (as the Quechua legend of the Ayar brothers recalls);
  • He defeated those of Quirumanta and Huanacauri, those of Colcabamba and Huaynapata, and, finally, the ayllus guallas, alcabizas and sahuasirais.
  • To strengthen his conquest, he began a policy of alliances with the people of the conquered ayllus and taught the defeated the arts of peace.
  • He ruled for many years, and died in the middle of the 13th century.


The Central Japanese Society (now the Peruvian Japanese Association), which brought together Japanese immigrants, also agreed to donate a commemorative work, deciding that it would be a monument to Manco Cápac, for being an emblem that united Peru and Japan, as it is considered the ancient Inca as «Son of the Sun», a concept also present in Japanese culture.

The monumental work was commissioned to the sculptor David Lozano and in 1922 the work’s commencement ceremony was held, which was located at the intersection of Grau and Santa Teresa avenues, which would later be called Manco Cápac avenue. The work would then be moved to its current location.

A series of setbacks and the breach of contract by the sculptor delayed the work, which was finally inaugurated on April 5, 1926.

A monument that took three years, nine months and 21 days to complete, and that cost approximately 113,500 soles.


What can be seen today are the ruins of its walls and part of a carved rock that survived the extirpators of idolatries. The façade of the lower part faces a currently reduced rectangular square, known as the San Cristóbal square.

The building, whose structure was inside the complex, currently only conserves a beautiful Inca wall.

The sculpture behind the wall that remains of the aforementioned building is a lithic representation of a character that expresses carrying something on his back

How to visit the Qollqanpata Palace?

The Qollqanpata Palace is located in the current San Cristóbal Church and is allegedly owned by the first Inka Manko Qhapaq.

This Catholic temple is built near some ruins of Inca origin known as the Ruinas de Ccolcampata, on the hill of Colcampata. It is known that the construction of the temple began, thanks to the initiative of Cristóbal Paullo, who is said to have owned the land occupied by the current temple. Despite the great contribution that this character made, the church had to be rebuilt a century later. It is known that the name that Cristóbal Paullo gave to this church, was given not in his own honor, but to honor his godfather, who was Cristóbal Diego de Castro.

Whoever wants to know this beautiful church in Cusco, has to go to the north of the city of Cusco. The temple of San Cristóbal is half an hour on foot, from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, and only 10 minutes if you go by taxi. Entrance to the temple is free, but it is only allowed during mass times.

Other Inca Palaces that you should know during your trip to Cusco

The Inca culture worked its buildings using an excellent construction style, which can be seen in the palaces that the Incas erected for their successors. Therefore, it is important that, during your trip to the Imperial City of Cusco, you take time to get to know the four Inca Palaces that we will mention below:


The Hatunrumiyoq Palace was built by order of Inca Roca, in this place the leader of the Inca Empire lived with his panaca. The name of the palace means «House that has large stones.» This place preserves a wall built of green diorite stone with irregularly shaped polyhedra: The twelve-angle stone.


The name of the Pukamarka Palace means «Red Place», it was built by order of the Tupac Inca Yupanqui with the purpose of communicating to the empire that he was its only leader.

Amaru Kancha

The Amaru Kancha Palace was built by order of the Inca Wayna Qhapaq. Its name means «Enclosure of the snakes» and it was inhabited by the Tumipampa Ayllu. It is said that the palace was so wide that it reached down to the Saphy River and the Waqaypata.

Visiting Cusco is a real adventure whose protagonist will be yourself, instead of a memorable experience, that is why Cusco is definitely one of the most incredible cities with a great variety of archaeological centers and tours such as Sacred Valley, Camino Inca or Machu Picchu. To enjoy an unforgettable experience, contact Inka Trail Backpacker, a company that will better assist you during your visit, of course it is always with the necessary advice for you and yours as well as the guarantee, responsibility and security that characterizes us. If you visit the city of Cusco another impressive destinations that you can visit are the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.

TripAdvisor Reviews

Based on 151 reviews
Fernanda L
Fernanda L
Mariela es muy especial! Fue todo perfecto! Mariela es increíble y hizo todo para que nuestro viaje fuera inolvidable. La dedicación de Mariela por su trabajo y por su familia también son muy bonitas. Eso hace todo aún más especial.
Cusco Visitei Cusco em Junho/2023 e reservei todos os passeios com a Qorianka. Equipe muito atenciosa, todos os passeios foram ótimos e bem organizados.
Da F
Da F
Perfeito!!!!! Quando fui planejar a viagem para Cusco pesquisei muito os locais que queria conhecer e as empresas que faziam os passeios, encontrei a Qorianka Tours entrei em contato e fui super bem atendida pela Mariele que esclareceu todas as minhas dúvidas. Quando estamos planejamento uma viagem sempre surgi o medo de não ser o que esperávamos, mas falo com vocês que foi melhor do que eu esperava, me surpreendeu o comprometimento, a atenção de toda a equipe que esteve comigo e com meu marido no período da viagem. Vou detalhar um pouco como foi, quando chegamos no aeroporto já tinha uma pessoa esperando para levar até o hotel, nos dias de buscar para os passeios foram todos extremamente pontuais, os guias sempre alegres e com toda atenção explicavam as histórias dos locais, os locais de café da manhã e almoço muito bom e agradáveis e no fim da viagem também nos buscaram no hotel e levaram até o aeroporto. Ficamos 9 dias em Cusco, foi uma viagem maravilhosa, um sonho realizado. Agradeço toda a equipe da Qorianka Tours que conseguiram transformar minha viagem em algo mais surpreendente do que eu espera. Se vc estiver planejando super indico a Qorianka Tours, não tem nenhum ponto negativo para reclamar. Podem confiar.
Solange Puga
Solange Puga
AGÊNCIA CONFIÁVEL!! A agencia é confiável, fiz a reserva pelo Brasil,só paguei uma pequena reserva,em um banco no Brasil,fiz o resto do pagamento diretamente com a Mariella em Cusco. Eles são honestos,mas meio informais. . No city tour,eles atrasaram, logo após 20'' de atraso eu liguei,esqueceram de nós,mas logo Mariella resolveu o problema e mandou um carro para nos levar até o grupo. Adoramos os guias de cada passeio,Aidê,Roni,Ivan e Mari,são eficientes,educados e divertidos . As Vans eram confortáveis. O hotel do pacote em Aguas Calientes,,era bom e bem localizado,foram nos buscar na estação.
Silvia P
Silvia P
7 lagunas con Diego Go!! La mejor experiencia!!! desde inicio hasta al final... cuentan con servicio de desayuno, almuerzo típico delicioso? Además de conocer y hacer amistades de otros países? y lo más importante el guía quién nos orienta e explica durante todo el trayecto.... totalmente agradecida y muy feliz Guía: Diego Suna Quispe
Rocio O
Rocio O
TOUR 7 LAGUNAS CON DIEGO GO! La mejor experiencia de la visita a las 7 lagunas además de contemplar su belleza natural fue que el guía Diego nos dejó tomarnos el tiempo necesario para captar las mejores fotografías y hacer videos, ya que estas imágenes quedarán guardadas por siempre para el recuerdo. También agradecer por la alimentación que estaba deliciosa con ingredientes propias de la zona. Un consejo para las personas que deseen aventurarse en este tour (o alguno otro, ya que el guía es experto en muchos tours) no se arrepentirán en tomarlo como guía a DIEGO GO! ( como lo bautizamos ???) su nombre real es DIEGO SUNA QUISPE
Rafa Rodriguez
Rafa Rodriguez
Todo el viaje valió la pena El viaje fue súper cansador pero llegar a la montaña de colores compensó todo el cansancio! Además con el guía Ronald aka Picasso hizo esta experiencia mucho más gratificante y hermosa!
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