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Machu Picchu Photos

The Lost City of the Incas

Machu Picchu before sunrise The ancient Inca site before dawn Dawn in the mountains around Machu Picchu The first rays of light fall on the Inca ruins
The Terraces of Machu Picchu Huayna Picchu  ('little peak') seen from Machu Picchu Looking at the ruins, don't miss the beautiful setting! Old Inca house
Terraces Inca terraces a tree between the ancient walls mountain panorama Huayna Picchu Sacred Stone
LLama watching over Machu Picchu Inca walls and windows Inca buildings Intihuatana - the Sacred stone of Machu Picchu Llama mother with her young lying on a terace above the Inca ruins
Inca house Machu Picchu Sacred Plaza Suckling Llama
mountain panorama Often, stones within the compund closely mimick the mountains behind them Llamas talking about the many tourists? mountains
When leaving the main site, we realized that a Vizcacha was sitting on the entrance door. Nobody else seemed to  se it... Mountains and ruins Machu Piccchu pueblo Hostal Viajeros in Machu Picchu pueblo

In 1911, Melchor Arteaga, an inn keeper from the nearby village of Aguas calientes led the first foreign tourist to the site that is now known as Machu Picchu.
Hiram Bingham cleverly promoted his discovery and became immortaly famous - while little is known about the Quechuan villagers who knew about it a long time before.

Today, hundreds of thousands visit the Inca ruins every year and there are already concerns that this may endanger the site.

Many theories about the significance of the site have been advanced over time.
It was regarded as an ancient capital, then as the most important Inca temple, or as the last military defence of the Incas.
Today the tendency seems to be to see it just as a "royal retreat" with no special significance.

Personally, I find this more logical than the other explanations as a truly important place would have been discovered earlier, maybe even by the Spanish occupiers?!

Also, there are agricultural terraces, residential areas and graves within the compound.

On the other hand, Machu Picchu, perched on its mountain top, surrounded by other mountains and with a river flowing around it is a true meeting point of the elements - and also very strategically situated.

Will the answer ever be known?

Did you like my pictures? If so, maybe you are interested in my other pictures from Peru?

There also are some photos from Peru in my photo-log.


Further information on the web:

Machu Picchu on Wikipedia
Machu Picchu Virtual Library

Machu Picchu on the Web

Yale Alumni Magazine: Rediscovering Machu Picchu
Congressional Biographical Directory: Hiram Bingham


Peru Photos:
Cuzco - Salineras de Maras - Circular Terraces of Moray - Saqsayhuaman - other pictures at my photo log