The Chimu Kingdom in what is now Peru, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine ‘citadels’ or ‘palaces’ forming autonomous units. The city extends over almost 25 square kilometres and was once surrounded by walls up to seven metres high. It is estimated that up to 50,000 people may have lived in this huge city at certain times in its history.
The image was taken on 4 June 2004 by the Quickbird satellite and has a resolution of 0.6 metres. It covers an area of two by four kilometres.
Credit: 2009 DigitalGlobe Inc./DLR.