The discovery of Machu Picchu
Hiram Bingham ‘rediscovered’ the Lost City of the Incas in 1911. However, Machu Picchu was already known to some local families, long before the arrival of the Yale University professor.
According to the Cusco writer Américo Rivas, 9 years before the arrival of Hiram Bingham at Machu Picchu, the Peruvian farmer Agustín Lizárraga visited the Inca Citadel. In the place he left his name written as proof of his visit.
Hiram Bingham baptized Machu Picchu as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, because when he arrived there; He believed that it was the city of Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the Incas after the conquest.
Bingham’s team extracted a total of 40,000 artifacts from the Inca City of Machu Picchu to be taken to Yale University.
These objects included silver statues, jewelry, bones, ceramics, and even mummies. Most of these objects have been returned to Peru as of 2014.
Chosen Wonder of the World
Machu Picchu was declared in 1983 as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
Machu Picchu was declared one of the new 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. In addition, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and four other impressive places were included.
Machu Picchu is the most visited tourist attraction in Peru, South America and one of the main destinations in the world.
Machu Picchu was chosen in 2016 as the best destination in the world in a vote by the users of the travel website ‘TripAdvisor’.
The construction of Machu Picchu
The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is located in the middle of two mountains, 2,430 meters high. These two mountains seen from the ‘Casa del Guardián’ form the classic postcard of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a Quechua word (the language of the Incas) that means ‘Old Mountain’.
The City of Machu Picchu was built as a royal residence for the Inca and his family in the mid 1400 AD, by the Inca Pachacútec.
Since its re-discovery, more than 30% of Machu Picchu has been rebuilt to give a clearer idea of what the structures originally looked like. The restoration continues today.
Machu Picchu was built around 1450 during the height of the Inca Empire. In 1572, a little over a century later, it was abandoned after the arrival of the Spanish.
The Inca Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu ’
More than 50% of Machu Picchu is underground as a base for some buildings or as water channels and drains for rainwater, irrigation and consumption.
Machu Picchu is divided into 2 zones: agricultural and urban. It is estimated that just over 1,000 people lived in this city hidden in the mountains.
Machu Picchu was never finished, it was only abandoned. Thanks to this, the Spanish could not destroy or modify it as they did with other Inca cities.
Machu Picchu had enough water sources and enough terraces to comfortably support more than 4,000 people. This is four times the population that once inhabited the city.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is considered one of the best walks in the world. Without a doubt, it is one of the most spectacular way to enter Machu Picchu.
The incredible Huayna Picchu mountain
The Machu Picchu National Park houses the Huayna Picchu mountain. This mountain is so popular that if you want to come in the high season, tickets must be reserved 6 months in advance.
To get to the top of the Huayna Picchu mountain you will go through trails and stairs. In some cases, the stairs are built on the side of cliffs several hundred meters away.
Just seeing the images of the Huayna Picchu road discourages many people. However, there have never been any accidents to regret.
In the middle of the Huayna Picchu mountain is the Great Cavern or Temple of the Moon. The function is this mysterious construction in the middle of the cave is still a mystery.
Huayna Picchu is considered one of the most incredible short walks in the world. The entrance ticket is the most desired in Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu Tour Information
Machu Picchu in danger
There is a restriction to enter the airspace of the Machu Picchu National Park. Despite this, the Inca City was flown over by helicopter for Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in 2016.
There was a monolith in the Main Plaza of Machu Picchu. This was removed on two occasions for the plaza to act as a heliport. The first time for the kings of Spain and the second for a group of leaders of the Andean Community of Nations.
The second time this monolith was removed, it was destroyed and buried in the vicinity of the Main Plaza.
Machu Picchu is on the watchlist of the 100 most endangered historical monuments in the world.
Machu Picchu is the most important tourist attraction in Peru. This causes it to be continuously threatened by commercial forces that promote the construction of luxury hotels and tourist restaurants near the wonder.
The mysteries at Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu can surprise anyone who visits it for the first time. Especially when you consider that the construction of the city was carried out without using draft animals, iron tools or the wheel.
It is still a mystery how the huge rocks moved from the quarries (30 km), to the location of the Inca City on the mountain.
Many of these rocks weigh more than 150 tons. It is believed that they were pulled by hundreds of men, but this is unlikely, especially due to the rugged terrain and inaccessible city.
More and more people are coming to Machu Picchu in search of their energy.
The Intihuatana (Solar Clock) is an Inca structure located near the Main Plaza of Machu Picchu. It is believed to emit energy. Many tourists put their hand out to feel it.
5 things few know about Machu Picchu
Currently, there is a family that claims Machu Picchu as their property by inheritance. The dispute with the Peruvian state is in the courts of Cusco.
Machu Picchu was built with a stone assembling technique called ‘Sillar’. The perfect fit of its walls and its slight inclination is still maintained despite its location between two geological faults.
Unesco has set a limit of visitors per day. The objective is to preserve the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu in the face of excessive tourism traffic.
Machu Picchu is still a mystery. A secret door was recently discovered where the tomb of Pachacutec, the Inca who ordered the construction of the Inca City, would be found.
From the top of Machu Picchu you can see a human face in profile in the conformation of the mountain. The face of an Inca!