[WORLDKINGS] Exceptional places around the world (P.142) – Machu Picchu (Peru) : The lost city of the mighty Inca


(WorldKings.org) Machu Picchu is a Quechua word that comes from “Machu” which means old or ancient, and “Picchu” meaning mountain. Therefore, Machu Picchu translates as “Old Mountain.”

Machu Picchu became known to the world upon the 1911 arrival of the professor and anthropologist Hiram Bingham, who promoted the site through his connections with Yale University, the National Geographic Society, and the Peruvian government so that he could begin studying the archaeological complex. Hiram Bingham, however, was not the true discoverer of Machu Picchu. Locals from the region had known about its existence for hundreds of years prior.

Built in the fifteenth century, Machu Picchu could have simultaneously served as a center of worship, a place for astronomical observation, and as a resting place of the royal family of the Inca Pachacutec, founder of the Inca Empire, or Tahuantinsuyo. Others believe that the Citadel of Machu Picchu was a luxurious and well-maintained mausoleum of the Inca Pachacutec. Based on the size of the citadel of Machu Picchu, between 200 to 300 people of a high social rank lived there.

It is considered by many to be the most spectacular urban creation of the Inca Empire and one of the most important heritage sites in the world. It sits on top of a mountain, 8,000 feet (2,430 meters) in the tropical forest, offering spectacular scenery with significant endemic biodiversity of flora and fauna. The site is made up of precincts, plazas, temples, tombs, rooms for storing food, stone canals and stairways and platforms, distributed on the topography of the mountain in a unique layout of urban design. More than 700 terraces helped promote agriculture, served as part of an extensive system of water distribution, and limited retained water erosion on steep slopes.

The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is also full of cultural significance. Its various sites, complexes, monuments and citadels are intertwined with each other and with their environment. This is a unique artistic achievement and also a masterpiece of architecture. Everything is sacred and cultural and is related to each other, including the natural environment in which it is built.

Currently, Machu Picchu holds the rank of being considered one of the Seven Wonders of the New World; this distinction promotes increased tourism in the area. Tourists of all nationalities travel to Peru with the intention of observing the Inca legacy and of course visiting Machu Picchu, which is also known as the Lost City of the Incas.

According to machupicchu.org

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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