- 1. History
- 2. Architecture and Measurements
- 3. Legend of the 12 Sided Stone
- 4. Details – Important information about the 12 Angled Stone
- 5. How to get to the 12 Angled stone?
- 6. How to visit the 12 Angled Stone?
- 7. Places Close to the 12 Angled Stone:
- 8. To consider
The 12 Angled Stone in Cusco Peru | There are no writings by indigenous or spanish chroniclers about this stone under any connotation, this is because the Inca society had stone, mud and straw as their main resource for their buildings, this fact made the Inca societies and even pre-incas knowledgeable in masonry, we are sure that when the Spanish arrived they saw many stones with different shapes and / or carvings, which is why the 12 angled stone did not call much attention from the chroniclers. You can see other stones with many more angles such as the 20 angled stone or 32 angled stone in Qoricancha.
Therefore from the historical point of view, what is pointed out about the place are based on the collective memories, science and studies carried out by well-known researchers for Peruvian anthropology, history and archeology such as Federico Kaufman, Julio Cesar Tello or María Rostworowski.
2. Architecture and Measurements
There is no doubt that the Incas were experts in masonry for the abundance of lithic resources as well as the Vikings in carpentry because of the wood abundance(trees).
The 12 Angled Stone is very famous because of its carving and perfect fitting system into 12 surrounding stones around this piece.
The First Stone: Many Guides point out that this lithic unit was the “Mother Stone or the First Stone” placed for the construction of this Inca Palace, some tour guides also tell visitors that removing this stone from that wall would necessarily require dismantling the whole palace. We don´t doubt that there has been a first stone placed for this building, which must be at the foundation, which is not visible and nor it is known which stone that is!
To remove the 12 angled stone from the wall, di does not necessarily require destroying the entire palace, it would be enough to disassemble 10 to 15 lithic pieces from the wall, it is a technical matter, anyone can realize that observing the wall.
Measurements: The 12 angled stone is approximately 1 meter high and 1.20 meters long, it is not gigantic stone as many people would think.
Weight and Type of Stone: According to the measurements and the type of stone, it weighs about 6 tons. It is a volcanic stone called green diorite, which means it is the lava of a volcano.
Carving and Transportation: There was a quarry located in San Blas neighbourhood (Tok’o Cachi neighbourhood in the Inca period), this quarry is very close to this palace, in the quarry the stone had to be broken using the expansion by fire, contraction by water, and friction by percussion, which was made with harder stones and bronze tools. The transportation of this stone was done by using ramps, ropes, wooden rollers and many people. The Carving of the stone was done using sand and harder meteoric stones – abrasion.
3. Legend of the 12 Sided Stone
There is no legend about specifically this stone, however many people relate the number of the angles to the 12 disciples of Jesus or the 12 months of the year. We believe that those are simple speculations that are not based on real writings of any chronicler, nor there is any essay from nowadays about this possible correlation.
In the writings of Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala, entitled the “New Chronicle and Good Government”, the indigenous chronicler tries to illustrate that pre-Hispanic societies, especially the Inca, were already “Christians” before the arrival of the Spaniards, the chronicler points out that the Inca society had a social order with a human face based on principles of reciprocity and redistribution that the Ayllus (communities) use to practiced. Ideed he tries to make this correlation to disqualify the political, religious and economic decisions done against the indigenous people at the beginning of the colonial period by the Spanish, implying that in the Inca period, there was a society with more human values “Christians”. But he doesn´t mean anything about the twelve Incas and their correlation with the twelve apostles of Jesus, not even as a legend.
In conclusion there is no legend like “Inkarri” about the stone of the 12 angled stone, but speculation.
4. Details – Important information about the 12 Angled Stone
4.1 Description and Meaning
The 12-angled stone has a deep cultural meaning to the Locals and a crucial importance for the tourism sector; This fact is thanks to the physical characteristics of the stone, the polishing, the setting, the number of angles, the type of stone and the beautiful high relief that can be clearly seen. There is no doubt that if you are in Cusco, don´t miss this place!
4.2 Where is it located? Location? Map?
This lithic piece is located in the historic center of Cusco about 150 meters from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, on Hatun Rumiyok street (means street with large stones). This monument or palace dates from the Inca period, it is calculated that it was built in the mid-13th century for the Inca emperor Rocca.
This street is described as a street today, however in the Inca period, this corridor was one of the four roads called Qápaq Ñan (there were four royal roads, one for each region or cardinal ponit), this road network connected the Cusco with the Antisuyo or the jungle region (one of the four regions), this road network was crucial because the coca leaf came from this region, a very precious asset for the noble class, who used to use these leaves for ceremonies.
4.3 At what times can you visit? Schedules
The 12 sided Stone is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week, we recommend visiting the place at night, starting at 9pm, after this time there are not many people trying to take a photo with the stone. Don´t forget that if you visit this place there will be many people waiting to take a photo, consider also that Hatun Rumiyoq street is extremely narrow because it was never designed to be a street in the Inca period.
4.4 What is the price of this place?
Good news! We tell you that visiting this place is 100% Free, you don´t have to pay anything, you donp´t need to buy the Tourist Ticket.
5. How to get to the 12 Angled stone?
The historical center of Cusco is small, so if your accommodation is located in the historic center, go to Hatun Rumiyoc street on foot, you can make in 20 minutes, otherwise take a taxi, pay an average of 5 Soles.
6. How to visit the 12 Angled Stone?
In the 12 Angled Stone, you are not required to have a tour guide, so you can do it on your own, if you need a Private Guided Tour, please contact us, if you want to join a guided group tour, we recommend you joinming a FREE Tour in Cusco in English and ask your Guide to show you the 12 angled stone, check out thousands of reviews HERE.
Important: If you take a private tour to the 12 angled stone, we can also show you, the 13 Angle Stone, The Puma, The Condor and The Serpent that are represented in this Inca palace, you decide!
7. Places Close to the 12 Angled Stone:
- Jack’s Café
- La Bodega 138
- Museo de Arte Religioso
- Cholos Craft Beers Cusco
- Free Walking Tour Cusco — Calle Heladeros 225
8. To consider
If you visit the 12 angled stone, don´t touch it because the hands carry many bacterias that can damage the stone in future times. Remember that this stone is considered Cultural Heritage of the Peruvian Nation.