Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ruins of Todos los Santos

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the archeological ruins of Todos los Santos, located in the heart of the City of Cuenca.  The visit was not planned.  At 10:00am I attended a meeting of the Culture Exchange Council (CEC). The CEC is affiliated with The University of Cuenca.  Twice a month members meet with small groups of University students to teach them English.  The purpose of the meeting was to meet the new leadership, for the semester, and to briefly discuss the schedule of when we are needed to teach.  Serving on the CEC is a volunteer position.  This will be my second semester on the Council.  A friend of mine, Jaci, also serves on the CEC.  We were walking together after the meeting and just stuck our heads inside the museum to see what was there.  Immediately, a worker asked that we sign the guest book.  We told her we were just looking and that we would come back another day.  She would have none of that.  She insisted that we tour the ruins at that moment.  We could see that she was not taking "NO" for an answer so we followed her to the gate. I am so glad we did.  

The ruins are archeological remains that were discovered during excavation work for the construction of a house.  The discovery was made in November, 1972.  The ruins are unique in that there is evidence of the presence of Canaris, Incas, and Spaniards in the same space.  You can see a system of aquaducts, limestone walls, and a mill. The mill was used to process grains such as corn and barley that grew in the area.  During excavation, more than twenty thousand fragments and whole pieces of ceramic, stone, and metal were rescued.  These finds are housed in the nearby museum which is an old colonial house from the Spanish occupation.  

Here are the pictures of "Todos los Santos."

This graffiti was on the wall of a nearby building.  I thought it was cool.

Walking home we saw this funny car parked on the street.  Notice the curtains in the windows.

Off to the next adventure!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Pumapungo Museum

In Cuenca, there is a great, free of charge, museum that features extensive and impressive artistic, historical, and cultural exhibits on three floors in a large wing of the Central Bank.  On the outside of the museum is the Archaeological Park that contains Inca ruins. The ruins were built in the late fifteenth century.  In addition to the ruins there are more than 10,000 species of plants and many native birds of Ecuador.  The purpose of today's blog is to post pictures for your enjoyment.

At this site was the Temple of the Sun and the Convent of the Virgins of the Sun.  Also, there were buildings dedicated to political use, administrative and religious.  This area was called the city of Tomebamba.  

The views of Cuenca from atop the hill are amazing.

At the base of the ruins are more than 10,000 species of plants.

Mike enjoying the day!

Below is a ritual bath that was used for the purification of the body and a large irrigation canal.

This is the entrance to a tunnel more than a hundred feet long and served as a mausoleum to symbolize the underworld, home of the wacas and the spirits of the ancestors.

There is also a small pond on the property with ducks and really fat fish.

The aviary houses the birds of Ecuador.

At the back gate there is a very popular Belgian Waffle snack bar.  I enjoyed a waffle with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar.

And here are a few pics taken on our walk home.

It was a beautiful day with temps in the low 70's.  A special thanks to our good friends Jaci and Micki for inviting us to enjoy the day with them!