The Lost City of Inca: Machu Pichhu is one of the most spectacular ancient cities in the world. Despite being located close to the Inca capitol of Cusco, the site was never discovered by the Spanish during their conquest, consequently it was not destroyed and remained relatively intact. Machu Picchu (meaning ‘Old Peak’ in the Quechua language) refers to the mountain that overlooks the city.
Spread over approximately 5 square miles, Machu Picchu housed a population of around 750 to 1200 people. The consists of a number of Sectors or Districts. These sectors or districts are Agricultural Sector, Urban Sector and Sacred District.
The Agricultural Sector which consists of terraces constructed by the Inca. These enabled crops to be grown but also provided stability to the mountain. The Industrial sector provided the facilities to produce and maintain the implements required by the population.
The Urban District provided the living accommodation for the people and the nobility.
The Sacred District contains the religious buildings. The most famous buildings are the Intihuatana, also known as the “The Hitching Post of the Sun” as it was ceremonially used to tie the Sun to the earth each year. The Temple of the Sun, with its semicircular facade built to tie in with the natural rock which allows the sun to cast a shadow through its windows along a stone altar on the winter and summer solstice. Also in this sector are the Temple of the Three Windows and the Main Temple, which show structural damage from movement.
Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. When we were there, they asked us to sign a petition to nominate it for one of the seven wonders of the world.