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The History of Machu Picchu

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The Past of the "Old Peak"


We know that the ruler Pachacuti had ordered the construction of the citadel on the "Old Peak". This occurred approximately around 1440. Most specialists say.

Some put the construction of Machu Picchu into the interval of the 13th and 15th centuries.


The glorious days might not have been as glorious as we like to imagine.

Evidence pointing out to a population of only some 200 - 250 people has been found in the city that could have accommodated 750 - 1.000 quite easily.


The purpose of the city's construction could have been multiple, but it is less likely to have been a military outpost. Unlike the Fortress of Sacsayhuamán, Ollantaytambo or Písac, for example.


The remoteness was of primary importance and the beauty of the sight and high-placement with the surrounding Urubamba River point out to its religious importance. So do the many temples in the city as well...


Machu Picchu was constructed on top of a flattened mountain and it is thought that its constructors have been working on flattening it even more for quite some time. It must have been a tremendous effort.

The place is situated strategically: they were well-protected and they could observe anything below in the valley, but they could not be detected from down there...


The conquistadores have conquered the Incas, but this place remained hidden... most of us know it, but did you think that the Incas kept Machu Picchu a secret from their fellow Incas as well?

According to archaeologist Gary Ziegler this might have contributed to its isolation.


Rich Incas and priests must have retreated to this magical place. It might have been a religious sanctuary. Also, according to Gary Ziegler.


There are many temples and the city's layout is beautifully designed. Perhaps other Inca cities looked great before the Spanish conquest, but this city is seems to be a bit more special...


Perhaps the great rule Pachacuti had lived here...

Some believe it could have been a secret retreat place of the Inca ruler.


But strangely the city was left by the Incas, almost certainly before the 1520s, when the Spanish army had broken into the territories.


Towards the end of the 1800s there is evidence that multiple persons have set their feet on the "Old Peak" and that Hiram Bingham in 1911 only rediscovered Machu Picchu, which was then already inhabited by a small group of Quechuans who have simply moved there.


Until the 1960s and 1970s it was mostly visited by scientists.


In the 1990s and in the early 2000s it has grown to become one of the World's top mystery travel sites. An icon of humanity even, a place we would gladly see in movies, a city that we like to associate with other ancient cities like Angkor Wat, Tikal, Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacán or the Gizeh Pyramids...


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