Tuesday 28 May 2024

The end of the Inka empire and how the Inka king met the Spanish

Time to Inka this blog up! Now that we're in Peru we're going to see a whole lot more Inka and this post is about the story of how the Inka king met the Spanish in a town called Cajamarca and...of course a bit about our time visiting the town.

So how about that for a story: In 1532, Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca and with 200 soldiers against several thousand, he lured emperor Atahualpa to a feast in his honour. The cheeky Spaniard then opened fire on the unarmed Incas. The following months after the Battle of Cajamarca, Atahualpa was eventually captured and 'converted' to Christianity. Unfortunately for them and despite a massive ransom demand being paid by the Incas (a room full of gold and two rooms full of silver), Atahualpa was executed. Though the Spanish established colonial rule, exploiting Inca resources and imposing their culture, religion and language, Atahualpa became a symbol of resistance inspiring several later uprisings against European rule. I find this a fascinating story; isn't it odd that although they forced Atahualpa to convert to Christianity, they then killed him?

We stayed in Cajamarca for one night and saw several clear examples of colonial rule. The main square was built over the old Inca square and was beautiful with two colonial churches on either side. We also visited the thermal baths that Atahualpa was bathing in when he heard the Spanish had arrived in the area.

But Cajamarca felt special for one more reason. While we visited, it was Mother's Day in Peru. Ismene and I didn't know about this until we arrived in the city and saw all the advertising so we didn't have time to do much. But luckily Ioanna got to see all the celebrations they had in town with a band playing near Mary's Church in Cajamarca and see all the lit candles on the steps to the main hill. It was really beautiful and made it just a bit more special. I guess we have the whole year to make it up to her....:)


  1. Happy Mother's Year, then Ioanna!

  2. Is there really no explanation why Atahualpa was murdered despite converting to Christianity. Clearly too important a leader who could, even in death, arouse the people to rebel. Surely death worsens that threat for the colonialists? Belated Happy Mother's day Ioanna, what a precious experience. Mxxxx