Machu Picchu is the main reason for many tourists to visit Cusco and to come to Peru,” The lost city of the Incas” is really a magical place, and it’s almost hard to believe that such a place even exists; thus, as one of the Wonders of the World, you can´t expect less. Machu Picchu is a Quechua word that comes from Machu that means old or ancient, and Picchu that means Mountain, therefore, it is translated as Old Mountain.
It’s the most amazing place build by ancient culture of the Incas, the complex of palaces and plazas, temples and homes may have been built as a ceremonial site, a military stronghold, or a retreat for ruling elites (according to different historians), due to the dramatic location. The citadel lies on a high ridge, surrounded on three sides by the turbulent Urubamba River some (600 meters) below.
The organization of this site differences the urban and the agricultural sector, for example the temples are part of the upper town, the warehouses the lower.
Nowadays, this impressive attraction enchants historians and engineers due to the Inca’s skills used to construct this 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. It’s remarkable that although it was built some 500 years ago when they didn´t knew about the iron, steel, cement, or wheels, the construction is perfect and resists weather and time.
Some of the highlights of the city include:
The “Temple of the Sun” or Torreón
Has the similar design of a sun Temple found in Cusco, and was built near where the Inca emperor is believed to have resided at the “Old Mountain”. There’s an interesting phenomenon in June Solstice, when the rising sun shines directly into one of the temple’s windows, and this indicates an alignment between the window, a rock inside the temple and the solstice sun.
The “Principal Temple”
Has a giant stone altar named “the Intihuatana” by Bingham. Its purpose is still a mystery, with recent research disproving the idea that it acted as a sundial; it
may have been used for astronomical observations of some form. Visitors usually arrive to this place by train, but there is simply no substitute for traveling to Machu Picchu the way the Inca themselves did—on foot.