Machu Picchu is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited..The perfect combination of man-made wonders and natural wonders
Machu Picchu (in hispanicized spelling, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmatʃu ˈpiktʃu]) or Machu Pikchu (Quechua machu old, old person, pikchu peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks, “old peak”, pronunciation [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu]) is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level.
It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows.
Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization
The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.
Since then, Machu Picchu has become the largest tourist attraction in South America. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day.
Since the site was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
The site is roughly divided into an agricultural sector and an urban sector, as well as the lower and the upper town. The temples are part of the upper town, the warehouses the lower.
The Agricultural Sector
The guard house is the most prominent construction located in a strategic place, on high ground from where the Incas could observe the Urban Sector and a large part of the Agricultural Sector.The view from up there over the city is very beautiful!
The Urban Sector
Occupies the biggest part of Machu Picchu and is situated northeast of the agricultural sector. It is the the part richest in attractions in the whole of Machu Picchu. This is the core of the city. Most houses and temples are located in the Urban Sector.
The urban part of Machu Picchu is divided into 3 districts . These are the Sacred District (or Religious District), the Popular District, the District of Priests and Nobility (also called Royal District).
The Sacred District/Religious District
The construction of the Sacred District was motivated by religion. The Incas always had a special place in their cities for the mystical practices, rituals.It is believed that the population periodically gathered in this area of the city and performed rituals.
This is where you will find the famous Inhtihuatana stone, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Three Windows. These two temples were both dedicated to the Sun God of the Incas, Inti.
the temple of the sun
The Central Plaza of Machu Picchu is surrounded by roofless stone structures and steep terraces, with a lovely view of Huayna Picchu. The plaza is the green island amid the Inca stone buildings that make up Machu Picchu, and travelers will often see llamas roaming through the grass and grazing. The Central Plaza’s grassy field separates the Sacred Plaza and Intiwatana from the residential areas on the far side of the complex.
The Popular District/Residential District
The District of Priests and Nobility/Royal District
Some might call this district the Royalty Zone or Royal Sector. It is located between the Temple of the Sun (in the Sacred District) and the baths, close to the Sacred Plaza.
The high class Incas lived here. The rich, the leaders, the priests and possibly the emperor might have lived here too.
Getting from Cuzco to Machu Picchu
From cuzco, take the train from poroy station to Aguas Calientes. Perurail is the only operator offering the services from Cuzco.
There are 3 classes of services (Expedition, Vistadome, Hiram Bingham) and is about 3.5 hrs. trip. Expedition used to be called Backpacker
Aguas Calientes is a town at the base of Machu Picchu and where the train station and lodgings are
As part of their road system, the Incas built a road to the Machu Picchu region. Today, thousands of tourists walk the Inca Trail to visit Machu Picchu each year.
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