Machu Picchu is arguably the most magical place in the world. Everyone knows it, has been there or it is still on your bucket list to visit. But why?
Machu Picchu is the lost city of the Incas located in the High Andes of Peru in the Urubamba Valley approximately 6 hours drive from Cusco and 2,453m above sea level. Luckily the spanish conquerer have never found that magic place. The Machu Picchu ruin had capacity for around 1000 residents and is known as the most sacred Inca site. It was forgotten after the collapse of the Inca empire and rediscovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham.
When Machu Picchu was discovered, terraces used for farming, a sophisticated irrigation system and ceremonial temples were found.
The original purpose of Machu Picchu is still unknown. However, a number of theories exit. Most of the architecture was designed for religious reasons; the walls were probably in place to ensure only a few number of selected people could enter this sacred site. The most discussed likely purpose for the existence of Machu Picchu was a sacred site to the sun god Inti. The temple was perfectly aligned with the sun. During winter solstice the sun rays fell on a ceremonial stone in the centre of the structure.
The photo below shows ‘The temple of the Three Windows’ which were used as an astronimical overservation point.
A different perspective from the Inca site:
The Incas were very skilled in construction and architecture. Constructions were made to aesthetically blend with their surroundings. Often windows and doorways were positioned to capture the best views of the surrounding mountains. Some examples here:
The Incas used the quarried granite, one of the hardest stones, which were shaped with great skills and precision and so well fitted together that mortar was not required. The irregular lines of blocks made the structures highly resistant to earthquakes.
The Inca bridge was originally a secret entrance to Machu Picchu for the Inca Army. As you can see the Inca Bridge is part of the stone path which is partly cut into the cliff.
Are you hungry for more? In my following post I will upload some photos of a slightly different sunrise and of animals who call Machu Picchu their home. In addition I will share some practical tips and survival guide. Stay tuned.
Have a great day.