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Why is Machu Picchu still a marvelous piece of architecture ?

“The Cuzco city feels a foreign place from up here”, these are the words Che Guevara said when he climbed Machu Picchu during his motorcycle journey through Latin America. Machu Picchu is one of the greatest structures ever built; it is the legacy of the Inca Empire and the pride of Peru. Machu Picchu crowns Peru, it is more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains and Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Lets us know more about Machu Picchu in this article.

Why is Machu Picchu still a marvelous piece of architecture?  
“The Cuzco city feels a foreign place from up here”, these are the words Che Guevara said when he climbed Machu Picchu during his motorcycle journey through Latin America. Machu Picchu is one of the greatest structures ever built; it is the legacy of the Inca Empire and the pride of Peru. Machu Picchu crowns Peru, it is more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains and Picchu is the most visited tourist destination in Peru. Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Lets us know more about Machu Picchu in this article. 

‘Old Mountain’ of the 15th Century 
In the Quechua Indian language, “Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” or “Old Mountain. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machu Picchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometers northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows. 
It is not the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ 
Many consider Machu Picchu as the lost city of the ancient civilization Inca, but it is not so. Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the 1450's. This was a hidden capital to which the Inca had escaped after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532. Over time it became famous as the legendary ‘Lost City of the Inca.’ 

A little city 
 Machu Picchu is made up of more than 150 buildings ranging from baths and houses to temples and sanctuaries. The compound contains more than 100 separate flights of stairs. Most of the individual staircases were carved from one slab of stone. 
The mysterious yet excellent architecture 
The stones used by the Inca Empire used no mortar. These stones were cut so precisely, and wedged so closely together, that a credit card cannot be inserted between them. Peru is a seismically unstable country—both Lima and Cusco have been leveled by earthquakes—and Machu Picchu itself was constructed atop two fault lines. When an earthquake occurs, the stones in an Inca building are said to shake; that is, they bounce through the tremors and then fall back into place. Without this building method, many of the best known buildings at Machu Picchu would have collapsed long ago. It is noted that they used no draft animals, iron tools, or wheels, hundreds of men pushed the heavy rocks up the steep mountain side. 
An astronomical observatory 
We all know about the Inca and the Mayan calendars and it is speculated that Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory of the Incas, it was well hidden from the Spaniards and its sacred Intihuatana stone accurately indicates the two equinoxes. Twice a year, the sun sits directly over the stone creating no shadow.          
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Sandeep Semwal
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