n 1843, on a hilltop 9,750 feet a.sl. and four hours from Chachapoyas, the judge of the court of first instance Juan Crisostomo Nieto discovered the huge fortified city of Kuelap.
It was an impressive discovery because of the size of the limestone blocks forming huge walls 65 feet high that marked the boundaries of a city covering an area of 1,900 feet long by 350 feet wide inhabited by 350 thousand people.
Since its discovery, various researchers have made studies of Kuelap. The first was Italian scholar Antonio Raimondi (in 1860) and Charles Wiener, Adolph Banbeller, Loors Langlots and Paulo Henri Reichien, followed in his footsteps; but unquestionably the most detailed, complete description is the one compiled by Alfredo Narvaez, between 1985 and 1987.
Judge Nieto never imagined that 150 years after, this discovery, product of accident and luck, would become a major tourist attraction of Chachapoyas, a place that has to be seen by all who arrive in the capital of the Department of Amazonas, 30 hours by road from Lima.
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