Tiwanaku II: A sun that doesn’t want to abandon the old stones to the storm

A frame for the infinite

Lake Titicaca is a dying sea, at 3,812 metres (12,507 ft) of altitude. When the capital city of the old Empire, called today Tiwanaku, wasn’t history but a powerful city it had a port near the lake one millennium ago. Today the lake is fifteen kilometres (approximately nine miles) far away, and the city is a broken jigsaw with blogs of different periods and styles.

The empire dominated the Peruvian south, parts of the Argentinian and Chilean north, and the Bolivian west, closer to its end in the tenth century. Basically it was an empire of the highlands and the closer coast. After their fall kingdoms would occupy its place until the emerging of Inca Empire in Qosqo (Cuzco) in the fifteenth century.

But not everything is history. After the Spanish invasion we still conserve our traditions, etiquette, way of thought, despite the contemporary governments the language, actually the people culture. The most damaged part was the higher culture in science and arts. But that is a story for another day.


Divine nature

Kalasasaya covers an hectare and parts are closed due to archeological investigation, but still it’s a beautiful place. The soldiers, priests, government, and powerful men are replaced by archeologists, local workers and tourists. There is a little town near with hotels. The entrance fee is cheap, I think as a foreigner for the whole Tiwanaku I paid more or less eighty Bolivians, what translates to not even fifteen dollars. Almost nothing to see ancestors.

A welcome darkness coming

The sky is amazing, isn’t it?

Flying in middle of the storm

Ears for the storm

This is Ponce stela, named that way in honor of the archeologist that discovered it, Carlos Ponce Sanginés. As you can see it has its shoulder marked with a cross. That means that it was known by Spaniards and that was a way to practice an exorcism in the Lord. Fortunately it was buried but not destroyed.

It’s cold, perhaps a hug… (published before)

Why am I in a boxing ring??!!

I left Kalasasaya to see Akapana pyramid.


Power of Akapana

Akapana although looks like a hill actually it is a Pyramid. According to Wikipedia a Spaniard called Oyaldeburo destroyed it in the eighteenth century searching treasures, unconscious that he was destroying the architectonic treasure. Originally it was finished with ashlars and there was a temple in shape of Chakana in its top (a Chakana is a sacred symbol in the shape of a cross with arms of the same length) and sculptures. The adobe shape is a modern work of reconstruction. I prefer it that way, so I know that is original and what an hypothesis.

Akapana remains and the storm

A mirrored structure above it

A bit closer to the pyramid

Steps to nowhere

Flowers for a dead king in Akapana

Seeing the sky

The invisible made visible

The wind was stronger. I had saw, besides me, five tourists more. But with the wind I didn’t see them anymore.

Infinite flowers

Road to a secret

Light and darkness


The wardens told me that the time was over. I walked the road to the highway to take a bus to come back to Peru. A last glimpse to the ruins showed me a rainbow, someday I could get back.

Collision of a rainbow


29 thoughts on “Tiwanaku II: A sun that doesn’t want to abandon the old stones to the storm

  1. Thank you for this wonderful photo(hi)story Francis! You have luck with a gorgeous clouds and light for this photo session. The stones wich make the wall of the first picture (A frame for the infinite) are original or reconstitution? The cuts look perfect!? The final photo, with the rainbow is apotheotic. I’m fascinated by these large and empty spaces, from your pictures, which in Europe disappeared a long time ago.

    1. Thanks Dan. The stones are original, the reconstitution are in adobe. Actually they’re perfect because despite the centuries and millennia they are solid without mortars.
      Actually the feeling of empty space is just an illusion. The Peruvian and Bolivian highlands are quite urbanized since thousands of years ago. I just had to carefully shot to get the idea of nature but you cannot walk there without enter private property.
      Said that you still have Iceland ;-)

      1. Iceland!? I’ve not heard for long time that name. A few years ago, icelanders decided to say a strong “NO!!!” to FMI, World Bank and multinational corporations. Since that time, european multimedia trusts established an information embargo for Iceland, that we do not know what happened and what is happening there. In this moment Iceland belongs to Europe only in sports competitions. I wish as Iceland remain same wild, beautiful, free land and free nation, but I do not think that is possible for long time.

      2. Yes, I remember. Iceland made the decent decision to don’t cover the mistakes of the big banks with the money of its citizens.

  2. I love this post. Indeed, the Kalasasaya pictures are amazing, I love the dramatic sky !! But I’m really attracted by the picture called “Flowers for a dead king in Akapana”. The composition is gorgeous, with the bright yellow flowers and the gorgeous mountain in the background. My favourite !

    1. That was tough to get to me, because I wanted to reflect the epic sense of the wall against the landscape. So thanks to your compliment I can say mission accomplished ;-) Thanks!
      Curiously that wall, for what I saw, is just a casual stacking by the archeologists, but it looked pretty cool that way.

  3. Amazing series Francis. I love it when the sky is grey and dramatic yet there is still sun to illuminate the foreground. Great history lesson too. The guy in the boxing ring looks immortal but lonely.

    1. He looks lonely indeed. But it shouldn’t be that way, in our philosophy always a balance is needed so I’m sure there is another monolith destined for him.
      Sun and clouds always play an epic song :-)

  4. Thanks for sharing part II of this spectacular journey through places and time. The dramatic cloudscapes bundled with the golden stones are gorgeous. I like the photos where you isolated your motives from their surroundings. With those images I get the feeling to view a photo captured in the past. Little time machines. ;-) Reinhold

    1. Less is more. I hope to come back again, I barely could visit three buildings from the several ones existing. I’m glad you could feel the sense of time Reinhold. It’s quite difficult and I tried to avoid a touristic report, instead more like an exploration in another kind of city, your words encourage me in that respect. Thanks and kind regards,

  5. (Why am I in a boxing ring?) –> You’re such a funny fellow! Those stormy skies are epic. I like the contrast with the stone figures (which seem eternal) and the turbulent skies. I look forward to hearing more about these places :)

    1. Thanks Melissa :-) It’s truly epic, I cannot avoid to think in emperors buried with treasures in the another life that is called death. Traders, businessmen, travelers, warriors, and in the end armies of invaders from the south and the city buried in the ground.

      1. I don’t forget you neither. And I follow with much affection your pretty moments.
        I’m flattered for be remembered by you. I’m an admirer for already several months of your beautiful world. I wanted to drop a comment before but the system rejected me, perhaps it’s my internet connection, but I’ll try again. Thanks for everything hadorable. Best wishes for you and your family, Francis.

    1. The skies are amazing in the highlands. The architects and engineers that designed and built Tiwanaku thought in get the eternity enduring and harmonizing the power of nature. Thanks Ulli. Greetings,

      1. I love the sky over the Sea. It’s very similar to the skies in the mountains.
        Have a nice Weekend, Francis

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