The sacred squareThis is the name given to a series of buildings that border a square courtyard. Everything indicates that the site was used for various rituals. It harbours two of the most beautiful buildings of Machu Picchu. They are built out of great sculpted rocks. The temple of the three windows, whose walls are made of great polygonal blocks assembled in the fashion of the pieces of a puzzle, and the Main Temple, built out of more regular blocks of stone, are thought to have been the main place of worship of the city. To the back of the latter is what is called the Priest’s House, or the House of Niches. It would appear that the construction of the complex is yet unfinished.
The temple of the three windows is to the east of the main square. It occupies a great rectangle. It owes its name to the three windows that you see on the photo. This type of construction, along with that of the main temple is the most impressive of all Machu Picchu: They are built with enormous finely sculpted polyhedrons that hug each other to the millimetre.
The main temple is to the north of the sacred square, just beside that of the three windows. It is built in the wayrana fashion, that is to say that buildings are rectangular in shape, but with only three walls. It measures 11 meters in length, and is 8 meters wide. The walls are about 80 centimetres thick. A sculpted stone was used as an altar, at the foot of the main wall.