Nestled more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is recorded as the 4th
most visited destination in Peru. This is the last symbol of the Incan Empire and was also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It is a pre-Columbian Inca site, which is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley. One of the most interesting places to visit in Machu Picchu is the ‘Temple of the Sun’, made of solid rock and with a diameter of 35 feet. It is believed that the initial residents of Machu Picchu died within 100 years of its establishment, due to small pox. It was then captured by Spaniards and destroyed later. As it is a significant place culturally and spiritually, Machu Picchu was included by the World Monuments Fund on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. For some more interesting and fun facts about Machu Picchu, read on.
Interesting And Fun Facts About Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,400 meters (7,875 ft.) above sea level.
- Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is the most known symbol of the Inca Empire.
- It is located on a mountain ridge through which the Urubamba River flows.
- Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World.
- The site was built around 1460 but abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers after a century.
- Machu Picchu means ‘Old Peak’ or ‘Old Mountain’ in the Quechua Indian Language.
- The site was forgotten by the world until 1911, when it was discovered by Hiram Bingham, an American historian.
- Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981.
- Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
- Machu Picchu is built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls.
- Its primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.
- Machu Picchu received great deal of attention after the National Geographic Society devoted their entire April 1913 issue to it.
- An area of 325.92 square kilometers around Machu Picchu was declared a 'Historical Sanctuary' of Peru in 1981.
- During an excavation carried out by Bingham in Machu Picchu, 1911, Peru University and Yale University got into a dispute over which one of the two should be given the responsibility to maintain the site’s artifacts.
- Machu Picchu is one of the most important archaeological sites in South America and a frequented tourist attraction in Peru.
- Machu Picchu comprises of around 140 structures.
- The Intihuatana stone located at Machu Picchu is one of many ritual stones in South America.
- Researchers believe that Intihuatana stone was built as an astronomic clock or calendar and indicates two equinoxes. It is believed that twice a year, the sun positions itself directly over the stone structure, resulting in no shadow being formed.
- It is believed that the Incas were some of the best masons in the world. Legend has it, that when an Inca placed two stones together, no one would have even been able to place a knife between the stones. Such was their precision and accuracy.
- Most of the cities of the Inca civilization were destroyed by the Spaniards, however, Machu Picchu remained a hidden location and an invisible site from the ground below, making it one of the last few, well-preserved Inca cities.
- In 1911, some people were found living on the site and a number of female mummies were also discovered.
- The Machu Picchu is surrounded by the village of Aguas Calientes.