Willkawayin (also: Willkawain, Wilkawain or Spanish Huilcahuain ) is a 1000 year old temple in the middle of the Wari culture of Peru.


The temple Willkawayin ( Quechua for "House of the grandchildren " ) is located in the Callejón de Huaylas, a section of the valley of the Río Santa, on the slopes of the Cordillera Blanca at the edge of a place, which is also called Willkawain. He is just 7 km north of the city of Huaraz situated at an altitude of about 3400 m dominated by the peaks of Vallunaraju and Ranrapalca which rise to heights of over 5500 m and 6000 m.


The temple complex of Willkawayin consists of an upper and a lower building, which are about 10 minutes walk away from each other. The buildings were constructed without mortar, and have so far survived despite her age of over 1,000 years, all earthquakes in this region without damage, better than most other pre-Columbian structures in Peru. The lower main temple has a floor plan of approximately 11 mx 16 m and is at the upper edge of a large escarpment. The construction is a reduced image of the castle complex of Chavin de Huántar, with four successive terraces and stairways.


The main building is constructed of heavy megalithic blocks, the spaces in the exterior walls are filled with small format slates. On the outer walls of a gable roof of huge smooth stone plates is attached, which are up to eight feet long. There is no window, only vents that provide the interior with fresh air.

Below the roof ledge formerly towered stone images of big cats from the wall, so-called " cabezas clavas " of which but now only two remain. A represents a head whose face is covered by two hands. Whether there is a connection to the temples Kotosh culture at Huánuco, where also hands may be used ( in crossed configuration ) as a symbol, is unknown.

The main building consists of 17 chambers in the interior, some of which are available today. The chambers are connected to each other by means of stairs and ramps, and have horizontal ventilation channels. Most of the chambers are still inaccessible and filled with the debris and rubble of the last millennium.

Under the system running, perhaps miles long corridors, which may have served as escape routes, are now largely buried.


Due to the structure of the building and the exterior and interior decorations, it is believed that Willkawayin has been built at the time of the Wari culture, one of the pre- Inca regional cultures of South America, in the period from about 600 to 1100, the coast and the western Andean region of present-day Peru dominated. One of the theories for the construction of Willkawayin assumes that the plant at their time has been a military observation post and Stockpile.