Atahualpa Palace - Imbabura
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The Atahualpa Palace, located in Imbabura province, is a residential hamlet which was occupied by the Lordships of Caranquis and Shiris at the end of the 15th century. These townships fought together against the Inca occupation.

The Atahualpa Palace is located in the city of Ibarra in the neighborhood “Caranqui”. According to several chroniclers of Indies and historical documents this is the place where Atahualpa was born. Atahualpa was son of the Inca Huayna Capac and the Princess Puruhá Paccha Duchicela. For this reason the place has this name. The Palace was matter of interest of the chroniclers of the 16th century. For example, the historical information of the chronicler Cieza de León, records that this place was a temple to the Sun. On the other hand the chronicler Betanzos says that the building was built by order of Huayna Capac as a tribute to his son Atahualpa.


In the archaeological site are preserved housing walls, but the vestiges are very limited and there is absence of studies that reveal how it was used and built. Is notorious the existence of two walls: the northern wall of 60 m. in length and 3.50 m. high, shows multiple false windows limited at the top by a single stone lintel; The east wall of 40 m in length has traces of a door, the height is 3.10 m with false windows. The walls rebel the pirca technical drywall, walls built with pebble, situated over a land mortar, with a thickness of 0.90 m.


It must be remembered that the north territory of the current Ecuador was populated by the Confederation Caranqui-Cayapa-Colorado, and a village even more ancient which was formed by the Puruhá nationality, land and cradle of the Duchicelas Kings. The Incas invaded and dominated this territory in the 15th century.


However, The Incas found a strong resistance in the Lordships of Quito, Cayambe and Caranqui. The fight lasted until the defeat of Yahuarcocha (blood Lake) where the Incas eventually achieved victory above the puruhaes, caranquis, shiris, and other cultures of the region.


Under de Inca Empire, the invader sought to win the will of these people through an Alliance: the union of Huayna Capac with the last Princess of the Kingdom of Kitu, Princess Paccha Duchicela, after defeat and kill the last Shyri Cacha in Jatuntaqui with what guaranteed the victory of the Inca Empire.


It is here where the first son of this union, Atahualpa, was born. It’s unquestionable that the area was inhabited by the Lordships of Caranquis at the end of the 15th century, which unified the Empire to deal with the Inca occupation. It was a territory traditionally occupied by the Puruhaes indigenous communities.

In addition to the Palace of Atahualpa, Caranqui town and its community offer variety of crafts. Its craftsmen have mainly dedicated to the production of guitars. There is also a fabric of beautiful hats. In addition the town has a dairy products industry with a factory of cheeses and milk. A main article of sale is the bread of milk.


The remains of the Inca and Cara constructions as well as the tolas of the region are the points of attraction for tourists. Other places of interest near these places are: the fair of Otavalo, Peguche waterfall, 20 lagoons you can visit in Imbabura, one of the best-known is the San Pablo Lagoon near Otavalo; close to Ibarra is the laguna de Yahuarcocha, and the lagoon of Cuicocha near Cotacachi.


Caranqui parish is linked to other urban parishes of Ibarra by Atahualpa Avenue. There is a road that goes to San Antonio and a road linking it with La Esperanza. You can also travel trough the Avenida del Retorno, which connects several neighborhoods of urban parishes.

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