Inca Buildings

These are some interesting facts about Incan Buildings:


About 600 years ago, the Inca were able to organize a vast empire through the conquest of neighboring people that ultimately stretched from the bottom of Chile to northern Ecuador along the western side of the Andes Mountains. During their reign, they developed their own architectural style, as well as, adapting the city structures of their conquered peoples in order to organize a more controllable empire.

Inca Structures:

Large or small, the typical Inca structure was a rectangular building with a single room. There was usually one door in the middle of a long wall. If it was a very long room, they sometimes used more than one door. Most of these structures had only a single floor, but there are some exceptions to this.

For example, if the structure was built on a hill side a second floor might be added so that they would have a means to access the upper floor more easily. The roofs on these buildings were thatched. In the highland areas, the roofs sloped steeply to allow rain to run off. The Incas used other geometrical shapes at times, just as the Aztecs did. There were round and "u" shaped buildings, but just as it was for the Aztecs these shapes was not used very often.

Inca Labor for buildings:

Inca stone working was tedious and slow. Specialists and unskilled laborers worked together to construct buildings throughout the Inca Empire. A vast number of people were necessary to be successful in building the many types of structures. All of this labor and planning was directed by architects and master stone masons under the Inca king's supervision. These workers were highly skilled in their occupations.

They built fortresses, temples, and palaces for the king all over the empire. The work of unskilled workers was of great importance also. There was a lot of work that went into building each structure. A large number of unskilled workers were needed to help quarry rocks, move them, and raise them into position.

Incan Building Materials:

The Incas used different forms of stone for their construction projects. They used roughly shaped stones, adobe, finely shaped stones, and mud or clay to smooth the appearance of rough walls. Inca constructions were most often made of stones collected from fields and laid in mortar. After covering rough walls with mud or clay, the Incas would paint them to refine the appearance. Fine masonry was used for more important constructions. The stones were carefully shaped and fit snugly against their neighbors.

Tools of the Inca:

For use on fine masonry, the Incas had tools of harder stones and bronze chisels. They also used earthen ramps to raise large stones if more than one row was needed.


The Inca people used a system in which the demands of building were shared throughout the empire. By using this thoughtful system of labor and pre-planned models, they were able to construct many magnificent structures throughout their vast empire. Today's architects could learn a thing or two from the Inca's way of organizing labor and manor of building sturdy structures that have held up against the elements and natural disasters for hundreds of years.

Copyright 2016 - All rights reserved