Located more than 7000 feet above the sea, in the Andes Mountains, lies Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist spot in Peru which is visited by numerous tourists every year. It is asymbol of the Incan Empire and was built round about in the 1450 A.D. Machu Picchu has been designated as one of the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO in 1983 and has been named as one of the seven wonders of the world in 2007. Here are a few more interesting facts that you probably did not know about the great Machu Picchu;
- In the Indian Quechua language, the literal translation of Machu Picchu is the Old Peak or the Old Mountain.
- Machu Picchu consists of more than 150 buildings which include houses, baths, temples and even sanctuaries.
- The compound of Machu Picchu also contains more than 100 different flights of stairs. The majority of these staircases had been carved from a single piece of stone.
- Although many of the stones and rocks that were used in the building of the great compound weighed upwards of 50 pounds, it is reported that no wheels had been used in the transportation of the rocks and stones up to the mountain top. However, it is also believed that these stones or rocks were transported t the top of the mountain by hundreds of men, who used to push these extremely heavy rocks, up the side of the steep mountain.
- There are many different theories which exist about the purpose which the compound of Machu Picchu serves. Some believe it to be a royal estate and some also believe it to be a secret ceremonial center for the Incan people.
- The Incan people were renowned to be the best masons in the whole world. The structures in the Machu Picchu have been so well built with a special technique of the Incas which is known as Ashlar. Ashlar means that stones are cut in such a way that they fit perfectly with the other stones without having to use any mortar. It is reported that not even a blade of a knife can fit in between the rocks.
- Machu Picchu was not knows around the world, that is until a professor from Yale, known as Hiram Bingham discovered the site again in 1911. He has written a book called “The Lost City of the Incas” and all of the material of the book has been based on his findings.
- There is a long standing debate between the University of Yale and Peru over the artifacts which Bingham collected during his exploration of the site. The University maintains that they own the artifacts and Peru insists that they were only given on loan.
- Unfortunately the majority of the cities built during the Incan civilization have been destroyed as a result of the conquests by the Spanish. However Machu Picchu is an extremely well hidden location, which cannot be seen from below, which makes it one of the best preserved Inca cities and also an archaeological beauty.
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