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COMPLEJO ARQUEOLÓGICO CHAN

Petit Futé's opinion on COMPLEJO ARQUEOLÓGICO CHAN

Plate millesim 2022

Buried under the sand, it is one of the most impressive pre-Incan cities of Peru. In the Muchik language, spoken on the coast before the arrival of the Incas, Chan Chan means "where there was sun". It was the capital of the Chimú Empire which shone from the 9th to the 15th century, after having supplanted the Mochica kingdom (4th to 9th century). It was inscribed by Unesco on the List of Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1986. The world's largest earthen city covered an area of 14 km² and included no less than 28 palaces where some 150,000 people would have lived. It is believed that the Chimu civilization was military with a lord and master of each valley.

Of this grandiose city, only theadobe

walls remain today, which the storms continue to erode. There are still nine palaces standing. Of the palaces of Chaiwac, Uhle, Laberinto, Gran Chimú, Squier, Velarde, Bandalier and Nik An, several have been restored and copies of the original friezes installed to give a more accurate idea of the place. They are scattered along the Pan-American Highway and the most impressive one, Palacio Nik An, is visited.

The Palacio Nik An (the palace of the center in Muchik language) - ex-Palacio Tschudi - is a monumental complex that is breathtaking : you walk between the brick walls, some of which are 13 m high, and you open onto immense spaces, the patios. The walls are filled with bas-reliefs representing fish, birds, fantastic animals and squirrels in a repetitive and bewitching way. The spaces are each time divided into 3 levels: the smooth sky, the sea represented by lines and waves and the earth and its animals. A central space, now populated by reeds, was one of the largest purifying baths. Nearly 140 water wells have been found all around Chan Chan, 90% of which are inside the palaces: he who possessed the water possessed the power. It is here in this immense palace that the Festival of the Dead and its sacred mummies were celebrated, for which the inhabitants brought tributes from all over the valley, so we think that a large part of it was also a granary or depository for all the offerings.

Note that Chan Chan includes four sites rather spaced: the main complex called Palacio Nik An, the site museum (rather basic), Huaca Esmeralda and Huaca Arco Iris. It is also worthwhile to negotiate a taxi to go from one site to the other.

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Opening time and information on COMPLEJO ARQUEOLÓGICO CHAN

Open every day from 9am to 4:30pm. Entrance includes access to Huaca Arco Iris and Esmeralda S/ 10.

Members' reviews on COMPLEJO ARQUEOLÓGICO CHAN

4 reviews
5/5
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pbelin
5/5
Visited in january 2020
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Magnifique et gigantesque site. Très belles fresques bien conservées. Nous avons eu la chance de faire la visite avec un guide qui avait participé aux fouilles. Bien que ce soit un des sites majeurs du Pérou et au patrimoine mondial, il y a peu de visiteurs ce qui ajoute au charme du lieu.
chambod
5/5
Visited in september 2015
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Service
Originality
Très beau site archéologique. Quel bel histoire a ce pays ! Mériterait plus de restauration. Zone peu touristique
HAS
5/5
Visited in may 2016
Value for money
Service
Originality
Accès en combi avec une marche ou en taxi. Ce site d'une très grande importante pour les civilisations Péruviennes, est très bien aménagé avec son circuit fléché.
A ne pas manquer.
titijeje
5/5
Value for money
Service
Originality
Site très intéressant. Mériterait plus de mise en valeur. A voir comme tout le nord du Pérou

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