Machu Picchu is magical and enigmatic. Each time they reveal more of their mysteries but there are still many unresolved.
Here we present information and interesting facts about the mysterious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
The discovery of Machu Picchu
- Hiram Bingham ‘rediscovered’ the Lost City of the Incas in 1911. However, Machu Picchu was already known by 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 to 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 at it; he thought 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 World Heritage Site by Unesco.
- Machu Picchu was declared one of the new 7 Wonders of the World in 2007. They also included the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and four other impressive places.
- 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 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) which means ‘Old Mountain’.
- The City of Machu Picchu was built as a royal residence for the Inca and his family in the middle of 1400 AD, by the Inca Pachacútec.
- Since its re-discovery, more than 30% of Machu Picchu has been reconstructed to give a clearer idea of how the structures were originally viewed. The restoration continues today.
- Machu Picchu was built around 1450 during the heyday of the Inca Empire. In 1572, just over a century later, it was abandoned after the arrival of the Spaniards.
The ‘Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu’
- The buildings of Machu Picchu are made of stones that fit perfectly and have remained so for more than 500 years without the use of any type of forge, mortar or glue.
- More than 50% of Machu Picchu is underground as a base for some buildings or as water channels and drainages for rainwater, irrigation and consumption.
- Machu Picchu is divided into 2 zones: agricultural and urban. It is estimated that little more than 1000 people lived in this hidden city among the mountains.
- Machu Picchu was never finished, it was only abandoned. Thanks to this, the Spaniards could not destroy it 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 incredible mountain Huayna Picchu
- The Machu Picchu National Park houses the Huayna Picchu mountain. This mountain is so popular that if you want to come in high season, tickets must be reserved 6 months in advance.
- To get to the top of the mountain Huayna Picchu will cross paths and stairways. In some cases, the stairs are built on the side of cliffs several hundred meters.
- Just seeing the images of the road Huayna Picchu discourages many people. However, there have never been accidents to regret.
- In the mountain Huayna Picchu is the Great Cave or Temple of the Moon. The function is this mysterious construction in full cave is still a mystery.
- Huayna Picchu is considered one of the most incredible short walks in the world. The entry ticket is the most desired in Machu Picchu.
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 by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in 2016.
- There was a monolith in the Main Square of Machu Picchu. He was removed on two occasions so that said place acts as 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 the monolith was moved, it was destroyed and buried in the vicinity of the Main Square.
- Machu Picchu is in the list of observation of the 100 historical monuments that are in danger in the world.
- Machu Picchu is the most important tourist attraction in Peru. This makes it continually threatened by commercial forces that promote the construction of luxury hotels and tourist restaurants near the wonder.
The mysteries in Machu Picchu
- Machu Picchu can surprise anyone who visits it for the first time. Especially if one takes into account 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 because of the rugged terrain and the 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 Square of Machu Picchu. It is believed to emit energy. Many tourists approach their hand to feel it.
5 things that few know about Machu Picchu
- Currently, there is a family that claims Machu Picchu as their property by inheritance. The litigation with the Peruvian state is in the courts of Cusco.
- Machu Picchu was built with a stone joining 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 established a limit of visitors per day. The objective is to preserve the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu in the face of excessive tourist traffic.
- Machu Picchu is still a mystery. Recently a secret door was 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!