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7 Facts that show that one of the biggest wonders on earth is Machu Picchu

One of the most remarkable testaments to the greatness of the Incan Empire is Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, situated high up in the Andes Mountains, attracts millions of tourists each year to admire the ancient civilization’s well-preserved ruins. Not for the faint of heart, its high altitude makes it a challenging adventure, but when you get to see the amazing site that was constructed from scratch without iron instruments or wheels, it is worth all the effort. It’s been more than a century since Hiram Bingham III discovered Machu Picchu, but the place still holds much of its secrets to itself. Here are 7 facts that show that one of the greatest wonders on Earth is Machu Picchu.

They weren’t all that lost,

In reality, Hiram Bingham III, the explorer and adventurer who discovered Machu Picchu in 1911, was searching for Vilacamba, the legendary Lost City of the Incan Empire. That was supposedly the place where, after the conquest of the conquistadores, the Incan royalty fled. He believed throughout his life that Machu Picchu was that very city, and he died without knowing the facts. Another ancient city appears to have been concealed deep in the jungle 50 miles from the Machu Picchu site, and archaeologists have confirmed that it was originally Vilacamba. Machu Picchu himself was not all that lost and forgotten. There were a few families living there when the explorer came there for the first time.

It’s an engineering marvel
The amount of effort put into building this city is hard to imagine, and considering all the earthquakes that happen daily in Peru, it has been preserved so well! No mortar was used to construct the magnificent buildings of Machu Picchu, as well as others which you can find in the remains of the Incan Empire. The stones were cut with careful precision to precisely match each other. To shape a monolithic structure that could withstand the most strong earthquake, they were only wedged together. It is said that when the earthquake began, the stones would ‘dance’ a little, bouncing slightly, but then all would fall into place. This is why the technical marvels of the Incan Empire can still be respected today!

It’s a lot to take in

Machu Picchu, built in 1450, is not just a few buildings thrown together high up in the mountains, it is a huge complex of more than 150 structures, linked by ramps, walls, terraces and narrow lanes. There are various platforms, ditches, and plazas to explore, but three main structures, Room of the Three Windows, Temple of the Sun, and Intihuatana, comprise most of the structures. For agriculture and irrigation, multiple terraces have been used, which seems almost difficult to do so high up in the mountains.

You can climb up high

Just 400 tourists a day will get to Huayna Picchu, so no wonder there are queues lined up early in the morning for the bus to Machu Picchu to get there as soon as possible. A rare view of Machu Picchu is provided by this small mountain and can be seen in the background of several images from the site. What most tourists don’t know is that on the other hand, the Machu Picchu mountain, they can also ascend the mountain. It’s 1640 ft. high and provides stunning views of the entire valley and Machu Picchu.

The secret Temple of the Moon

Do not leave just after a few minutes of taking pictures and admiring the view if you happen to visit the grass-covered Huayna Picchu. The location is a little bit more than that! A hidden, dangerous-looking path leads to a cave that is home to the Temple of the Moon, it turns out. It’s a lovely little shrine with lovely stonework that can’t be missed.

It might have a deeper meaning

Giulio Magli, an Italian archaeoastronomer, had a hypothesis that Machu Picchu was not just a great city of religious significance-it probably held a special position in Incan cosmology and was the final location of a major pilgrimage that began at Lake Titicaca. They claimed that the first Inca appeared on the Island of Sun on Lake Titicaca and went on his elusive celestial journey to the stars. Ancient Incas constructed their own elaborate Inca Trail to mimic his route, leading directly to Machu Picchu, making it the final destination of this peculiar pilgrimage. The pilgrims will end up entering and ascending the town to reach the Intihuatana Stone, which is Machu Picchu’s highest point.

Mysteries remain unsolved

With new locations being found all the time, much of Machu Picchu remains unexplored. The surroundings of Machu Picchu are obscured by dense vegetation, shielding trails and buildings that may be lurking on the slopes. The more we look at Machu Picchu, the harder it is to understand how the ancient Inca, without instruments or even wheels, could possibly hold all these giant rocks. Theories say that some alien cultures helped the Inca construct their masterpieces, while others state that before the Incan Empire, which constructed the site, there was a more ancient and much more advanced civilization. Indeed, it is odd to see larger, well-carved stones at the base of most houses, with more messy stones in the center and at the top. Were the Inca gradually becoming worse constructors, losing any ancient expertise, or were they only copying what had been developed long before them? Such questions stay unanswered.

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