Heavy Rains Cause Collapse at Kuelap Fortress in Peru
One of the largest ancient monuments of the Americas, Kuelap suffered severe damage from recent heavy rains in the Amazon region of northwestern Peru which caused part of the perimeter wall to collapse.
The ruins of Kuelap, once a fortified citadel and the political center of the Chachapoya civilization, a pre-Columbian culture that flourished from about 900 to 1400 AD, sit 3,000 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Andes. The original site covered 15 hectares consisting of civil, religious, and military buildings, as well as 420 circular stone dwellings, which contained geometric friezes, murals, and high relief carvings and was surrounded by walls reaching as high as 60 feet in some places and constructed out of large limestone blocks.
Included on the 2004 World Monuments Watch, due to its great importance and fragile state of conservation, World Monuments Fund (WMF) financed the repair of a section of the monument, known as Pueblo Alto. Fortunately, this portion of the structure was not impacted by the recent rains.
WMF underscores the importance of ongoing scientific research, essential to preservation of this extraordinary site, and urges the Peruvian authorities to take all necessary measures for the conservation of this unique cultural heritage.