The great city of Chan Chan was once the capital of the Chimú Kingdom in what is now Northern Peru. Estimates on how many people lived at Chan Chan vary wildly, from as few as 20,000 to as many as 100,000. But one thing is for sure… it was HUGE!
At its height, shortly before the invasion of the Incas in about 1470, it covered an area of at least 5000 acres. As such, Chan Chan was the largest Pre-Columbian city in Latin America and the greatest adobe (mud brick) city in the entire World.
Chan Chan was finally abandoned after the arrival of the Spanish around 1535. Today, its remains occupy a large swath of desert outside the colonial town of Trujillo.
Within the confines of the city are nine massive monumental citadels or palaces. Each of the citadels is surrounded by a high adobe wall, pierced by a single entrance. Inside are ceremonial plazas, audience chambers, funeral platforms and other structures. Only the Nik-An Citadel (formerly called the Tschudi Citadel) is currently open to the public.
Chan Chan was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Thanks to Lina of TrujilloDelPeru.Com for guiding us around the remarkable ruins of Chan Chan.
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