Machu Picchu: Icon of Inca Civilisation

2022-07-24
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On July 24, 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham brought Machu Picchu to international attention. It is a 15th century Inca citadel believed to have been 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 civilisation. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

It sits 2430 m above sea level on the eastern slope of the Andes and overlooks the Urubamba River hundreds of metres below. It is spread over 80,000 acres, with agricultural terraces, plazas, residential areas, and temples.

Built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls, its three primary structures are the Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.

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