The world-famous archaeological site of Machu Picchu is located on top of a ridge called the Batolithic of Vilcabamba.
This ancient Inca city, situated between the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains, is about 2430 meters above sea level and approximately 80 kilometers from the city of Cusco.
It is considered to be a brilliant example of both architecture and engineering.
The name “Machu Picchu” comes from the Quechua language, where it means “old peak.” It received this name because it is one of the tallest mountains near its location.
Furthermore, the legends and stories surrounding the sanctuary give it an air of mystery. Do you want to know when and how Machu Picchu was built? We will tell you all of the details below.
How was Machu Picchu built?
The Inca people are well-known for their impressive engineering and construction abilities.
One of the most iconic examples of their skills is the ancient city of Machu Picchu, which was built around 1450 by the order of the 9th Inca emperor, Pachacutec.
The city is notable for its use of dry stone walls, a construction technique in which stones are placed without the use of mortar or cement.
This technique creates a strong bond between the stones, and the Incas also carved the rocks to fit perfectly together. As a result, the structures were extremely stable and resilient.
In addition to this impressive construction technique, the Incas also utilized the natural surroundings of Machu Picchu in their building efforts.
They incorporated aspects such as rocks and mountains into the city’s layout and design, blending the structures seamlessly with their surroundings.
Thanks to these efforts, Machu Picchu remains an awe-inspiring example of Inca engineering and architecture.
How long did it take for Machu Picchu to be built?
Located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, it is believed to have been built by the Inca Empire sometime around the year 1450.
However, due to its remote location and lack of written records, historians are still uncertain about many aspects of its history, including its exact purpose and how long it took to build.
It is generally agreed that Machu Picchu was used as a residence and ceremonial site for around 100 years before being abandoned, but the actual construction process is still a matter of debate.
Some experts believe that it could have taken up to 50 years to build, while others believe that the majority of the work was completed in a much shorter timeframe.
Regardless of its true origins, Machu Picchu remains an iconic symbol of the Inca Empire and a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.
Why was Machu Picchu abandoned?
The exact reason for the abandonment of Machu Picchu is still a mystery. However, there are some theories about it.
Inca Empire was conquered by the Spanish
One theory about the abandonment of Machu Picchu is that the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spanish.
The Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America in the early 16th century, and within a few decades, they had conquered much of the region.
The Inca Empire was no match for the Spanish military, and in 1572, the last Inca ruler was captured and executed.
The fall of the Inca Empire led to the abandonment of many of its cities, including Machu Picchu. While there is no definitive proof that this is what happened, it is one plausible explanation for why the city was abandoned.
Machu Picchu was a secret city
Another theory about the abandonment of Machu Picchu is that it may have been a secret or sacred city used only for religious or spiritual purposes.
This theory suggests that the city was deliberately kept hidden from outside visitors and thus would not have had a large population or function as a major center of the Inca Empire.
In this scenario, the abandonment of Machu Picchu would have occurred when it was no longer necessary or used for its original purpose.
Some experts also theorize that natural disasters, such as earthquakes or landslides, may have led to the abandonment of Machu Picchu.
The Inca people were known for their advanced understanding and use of architecture and engineering, but it is possible that a natural disaster may have caused damage to the city and made it uninhabitable.
Regardless of the reason, Machu Picchu remains a fascinating archaeological site that continues to inspire curiosity and wonder.
Its abandonment has only added to its allure, leaving visitors to ponder and speculate about its mysterious past.
Machu Picchu is an incredible example of human engineering and ingenuity. Built without the use of modern technology, this ancient site stands as a testimony to the skill and dedication of the Inca people.
Today, Machu Picchu is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world.
While it can be crowded at times, the experience of exploring this unique site is well worth the effort. For anyone interested in history or archaeology, Machu Picchu is a must-see destination.