Machu Picchu, The Holiest Site of the Inca Civilization in Peru

Aulia Hafisa
Machu Picchu (Dominique Müller/Pexels)
Machu Picchu (Dominique Müller/Pexels) - Machu Picchu is a relic of the Inca civilization which is located in the Andes Mountains, precisely in the Urubamba Valley, Peru. The site was built by the Inca Emperor Pachacuti in 1450 AD. It is located above the Urubamba river. 

At that time, Machu Picchu was functioning as a fortress, an imperial resting place, and a place for religious ceremonies. After the Inca Empire collapsed, this site was abandoned and forgotten. 

In 1911 AD, Machu Picchu was rediscovered by an American archaeologist named Hiram Bingham. As the holiest of all Inca heritage sites, Machu Picchu was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. 

History of Machu Picchu 

Machu Picchu is an imperial settlement founded by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, the Inca ruler, in the mid-15th century. Furthermore, the site with a capacity of 1,000 residents was passed on to Pachacuti's successors. 

Machu Picchu (Errin Casano/Pexels)
Machu Picchu (Errin Casano/Pexels)

Primarily, Machu Picchu was used as a residence for the Inca imperial and aristocratic families. However, archaeologists have other theories related to the function of Machu Picchu. 

Some argue that Machu Picchu was a religious site, indicated by its location over mountains and other geographical features that were considered sacred by the Incas. While some other historians suspect that this site was used as a prison, trade center, and resting place for women until it was devoted to the coronation of kings. 

About 100 years after it was built, Machu Picchu was abandoned by a smallpox epidemic. Some historians suggest that the site was abandoned after the Spanish began to overrun the Incas in 1521.

However, the Spanish never reached Machu Picchu, and the site remained hidden from the world for the next 400 years.

How Machu Picchu discovered 

The existence of Machu Picchu was only known to the world in 1911 when it was discovered by Hiram Bingham. Although local residents have actually known the existence of this site for a long time. At that time, Bingham and his team of explorers intended to find the whereabouts of Vilcabamba, the last Inca stronghold that fell to the Spanish. 

On the way, the locals actually pointed out the ruins which are located on the top of the mountain. The residents call it Machu Picchu, which means "old hill". Bingham then poured and preach his findings through a book entitled "The Lost City of the Incas."

Machu Picchu today 

In 1976, Machu Picchu was restored to show tourists what it was originally like. Every year, this site is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists from various parts of the world, who want to witness the splendor of the remains of the Inca civilization. Since 1983, Machu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2007, this site was designated as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Tag # machu picchu # machu picchu history # macu picchu peru # peru # historical sites

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