Machu Picchu, in the Quechua language means ‘old peak’, is one of the most famous tourist destinations all over the world. It is a 15th century Inca site located 2,430 meters above sea level in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on the mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 km northwest of Cuzco and through where the Urubamba River flows. The natural setting on the eastern slopes of the Andes encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but was abandoned during the time of Spanish Conquest. Locals knew the city, but Spaniards weren’t able to reach the place and remained unknown. However, it was introduced to the world by an American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981. In 1983, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This historical site is the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire during the peak of its power and achievement. Several archaeologists believe that it was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). Landscape engineering skills are in strong evidence at Machu Picchu with the site’s buildings, giant walls, terraces, and ramps that reclaim the step mountainous terrain and make the city blend naturally into the rock escarpments on which it is situated. Some of the buildings included palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms, and some 150 houses. In addition to these structures, the city also has 700-terraces that preserved the soil, promoted agriculture, and served as a part of an extensive water-distribution system that conserved water and limited erosion on the steep slopes. All of the structures were carved from the gray granite of the mountain top, which is a wonder for both architectural and aesthetic genius. Many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted together with such exactitude that the mortarless joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. The Inca’s achievements and skills are very impressive because some 500 years ago they had no iron, no steel, and no wheels. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. Until today, restoration continues to be done in the city.
The most important structures at Machu Picchu are:
- Temple of the Sun: This is also called the Torreon. It has an elliptical design similar to a sun temple found at the Inca capital of Cuzco. The rock inside the temple could have served as an altar.
- Temple of Three Windows: This is an important structure because it is near the main Plaza, which is one of the points with greater spiritual value for civilization.
- Temple of the Condor: Inside the temple, there is a rock carved in the shape of the condor’s head and neck feathers. Historians speculate that the Inca used the head of the condor as a sacrificial altar.
- Intihuatana Stone: It means “Hitching Post of the Sun”. It was an astronomical observation device used to determine the exact periods for different festivals and celebrations of importance in the Inca religion.
Machu Picchu is one of the greatest architectural designs in our history. Furthermore, Incas were able to build the city without using mechanical devices that we have now. The enchanting city is definitely in everyone’s list of places that they want to visit. So if you are planning to go here, you can read about other people’s trip through their blogs and learn how you can fully enjoy your vacation in Machu Picchu. If you have your own blog, you can increase your visitors by buying website traffic. There is information about website traffic on buywebsitetrafficreviews.org.