“Todos los santos” archeological ruins - Azuay 1/2
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The ruins of Todos los Santos are an archaeological place of great interest, located in the heart of the city of Cuenca.
PHOTO CREDIT: steve legassick

In the ruins of Todos los Santos are architectural remains that were discovered during excavation works in the sector of the mills of Todos los Santos for the construction of a house. The discovery was in November, 1972.


The ruins are an architectural ensemble that is unique in its nature. Located in the neighborhood of Pumapungo, between houses, streets and modern buildings, it is evident the presence of cañaris, Incas and Spaniards in the same geographical space.


In the North-East part of the complex overhang a wall that has been catalogued as cañarian architecture. The complex area of the corresponding cañari occupation presents a rectangular structure with walls of limestone rock. The key feature of the structure is that does not present too many alterations, the stone retains its natural form and was joined with mortar of black earth.


This Cañari construction clearly differs from the Incas construction. These different architecture styles can be visited, and you will discover they have very obvious characteristics since a system of aqueducts and limestone walls and lintels (in the upper part of the complex) have the characteristic of polished stone, as well as in the five niches, also of polished stone together with the perfection of the Inca architecture.

A mill, located next to the false windows, is evidence of the Spanish occupation in the place. The Spaniards used stones and the Inca lintels to form a Roman arch. This first mill was built with stone blocks, originally Inca lintels, which would have measured two meters in length and were two tons of weight each one. It’s considered that part of these Hispanic constructions was previous to the Spanish Foundation of Cuenca (1557) and other belongs to the first years of the city.


According to historians, the owner and builder of this mill, built approximately 10 years before the officer Cuenca Foundation, was the Spaniard encomendero (holder of an encomienda) Rodrigo Núñez de Bonilla who adapted the mill with the previous construction which possessed aqueducts, taking advantage of the irregular terrain in which it was built.


The function of this mill was to process grains such as corn, barley, etc, that grew in the area. In this mill, you can also observe vestiges of what would have been the house of Núñez Bonilla.

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