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Posted by on Jul 15, 2012 in Peru, Photo of the Week, Photos, South America

Photo of the Week: Sillustani Funeral Towers

Surrounded by antiplano, beautiful perched on the edge of Lake Umayo, stands the Sillustani Funeral Towers. The tall standing towers are called “chullpas” which are pre-Colombian funeral towers.

The towers contain the remains of many elders, families, nobility, and people of importance within the Colla tribe.  The chullpas were built out of perfectly constructed pieces of stone, and the deceased were placed within the towers from above. Within the towers were so dry and isolated, that some of the bodies became mummified.

Originally the towers contained the riches of the deceased as well, as offerings to the spirits, but have long since been taken by grave robbers.

The entire area is stunning. I came when a storm was rolling in and the dark clouds tumbled across the sky. they illuminated the towers, mountains, and lakes surrounding and gave the area an even more mystical feel. I didn’t stick around for the downpour, but watching those clouds roll in as I stared across the expanse was one of my fondest memories of Peru.


    • Thank you. I wonder if you can google most beautiful places to be buried and have actual grave listings come up? hmm…is that morbid? Nah…..its good planning right?

  1. Breathtaking!!!!!!!

    • Thank You!! (And SO happy that your comment went through! I taught my Spam filter a lesson!)

  2. I LOVE the drama in this photo – suits the towers perfectly!
    Lindsey’s Recently Posted..Capture the ColourMy Profile

    • Thank You! It was so enchanting to watch those clouds rolling in. Suits a graveyard well I think.