Chan Chan – Peru


Chan Chan was the capital of the pre-Columbian Chimu Empire and was located on the Peruvian Pacific coast west of the present city of Trujillo. It was formed by about 1300 and extends today over an area of 28 km. She was probably the largest city of the time on the South American continent and one of the largest in the world, built from clay.

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In its heyday the city housed about 60,000 people and had amassed a considerable fortune in gold, silver and ceramic artifacts.

Chan Chan was not conquered by the Incas with military force. Therefore, the attacker initiated by the flowing river to the oasis, so that the capture of the city by the incoming water shortages soon possible. After the conquest by the Incas, the city lost its importance. The city was not destroyed by them, because they put more emphasis on expansion than on wealth. That changed abruptly when the Spaniards conquered the Inca Empire. Of the total Chimu culture was left not much more. Today only huge areas of mud buildings in poor condition and more or less a few banquet halls are available.

For the massive destruction also takes occurring in recent years, El Niño on. For decades in this region no rain fell, but by climate change, the more violent storm and changed the desert-like coastal areas. The capital of the Chimo consisted of the original nine autonomous districts, each of which was ruled by another successful ruler. They were like kings worshiped. Each district contains tombs with extensive offerings of jewelry, ceramic articles and dozens of skeletons of young women.

The best preserved is the Tschudi area, named after the Swiss explorer Johann Jakob von Tschudi . This area is being restored and is open for tourists. Here are some of the rooms are hard to see with their magnificent decorations. Until 1998 , the adobe houses were covered with a special glaze to protect them from being destroyed by the rain. But in the year El Nino was so violent that steel frames had to be built, not to wash away the small buildings.

The UNESCO declared 1986 to Chan Chan World Heritage Site . Simultaneously, the ruins were a result of the climate changes are becoming increasingly heavy destruction on the red list of endangered world heritage listed. Currently preparing the rise of the groundwater and illegal settlements in the area of the site are still problems.