Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a 15th century Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. It is situated 2,430 meters (7,970 ft.) above the sea level.
18 Interesting Machu Picchu Facts
- Machu Picchu was built with a technique called "ashlar". Stones are cut to fit together without mortar. And to your surprise, not even a needle can fit in between two stones. It was built with polished dry-stone walls.
- Machu Picchu in the Quechua native language is known as "Old Peak" or "Old Mountain". It is also known as the Lost City of the Incas.
- Machu Picchu was only known locally until Hiram Bingham re-discovered it in 1911.
- It is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths, temples and sanctuaries.
- The compound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs. Most of the individual staircases were carved from one slab of stone.
- Archeologists suggest that 60% of the construction was underground, indicated by deep building foundations and crushed rock for drainage.
- No wheels were used to transport heavy rocks for the construction of the city.
- Many of the stones used in the construction of the city weighed more than 50 tons. Some were chiseled from the granite bedrock of the mountain ridge. The others were pushed up to the city; by hundreds of men along the steep mountain slope.
- The citadel is divided in two parts; Hanan and Urin according with the Inca tradition.
- One reason why Machu Picchu may have been abandoned is the outbreak of smallpox. This disease is thought to have been spread to the Incas from the travelers that visited the site prior to the Spanish Conquest.
- There are many different theories regarding the Machu Picchu's purpose. Some to stay are; it a royal estate and a secret ceremonial center. Other theories suggest it was an ancient trade center while others say it was used as a prison.
- It is popular for its three significant building namely; Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.
- Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory, and its scared Intihuatana stone accurately indicates the two equinoxes. Twice in a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating no shadow.
- Most cities built by the Inca civilization were destroyed by the Spanish invasions. Machu Picchu was in a hidden location; invisible from below and not found, making it one of the most preserved Inca cities.
- The best time to hike Machu Picchu is from April to October with warm and dry conditions. With the clear blue skies and less clouds, you'll be able to take the best Machu Picchu shot.
- If you want to reach Machu Picchu by foot it can take a four day or two day journey. If you go by train it will take only few hours.
- Each year there is a race along the Inca Trail, which at 26 miles is pretty much a marathon.
- To preserve this Wonder, The Peruvian government has limited the number of visitors to the Machu Picchu per day.
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