Machu Picchu History
Machu Picchu Origins
Contrary to common belief Machu Picchu was not the capital of the Incan empire, this was Cusco. The origins of Machu Picchu began with its order of construction in the 15th century, commanded by the 9th Inca of the civilisation, Inca Pachacutec. There are many theories on why this outlandish city was erected, some believe that it was a place of refuge for the Inca and his Nobel men due to the fine artefacts and structures found here. Some believe it was uniquely chosen due to its resources as a man-made agricultural oasis, due to its uniquely and impressively built terraces for growing crops and its pinpointed location which is sun-drenched due to positioning and building. Although it is widely accepted that Machu Picchu was a prestigious place which received academics in fields such as medicine, archaeology, engineering, spiritual practices and astronomy. This belief is founded in the buildings of schools, temples, hospitals and the great entering feats found in this mysterious ancient city. The city build upon 2 fault lines, it was and still is prone to earthquakes. However, sturdy construction is truly ingenious with structured terraced agricultural land, water supply and drainage system and expertly maisoned stone work.
Spanish Invasion and Modern Day Machu Picchu
The Spanish invaded in 1832 and the Inca community was forced to flee the city and abandon it. They destroyed entrances and trails to protect it from invasion. The Spanish never did find the ‘lost city’. Although hidden in the mountains and sealed with barricades and broken paths locals always knew where the city could be found, and an Andean community still worked the agriculture site. 1911 an American historian and professor came and scientifically rediscovered the city with the help of local indigenous farmers. By 1912 Hiram Bingham had made the existence of Machu Picchu public world-wide knowledge. He returned subsequent times as did many others for the archaeological exploration of the site. Addition routes were laid down by archaeologists including Bigham to allow for provisions to be more accessible transported from Cusco some of them are still used today. It was in the 70’s that Machu Picchu had its first taste of Tourism with flights from America to Lima and published photos in magazines enticing explorers to come. Now days Machu Picchu had in excess of 1,578,000 visitors in 2018. The limit is now capped at 2,400 visitors a day and sections of the ruins have been roped off, all in an effort to protect and preserve this magnificent monument and the intricate trail that leads to it.
From its rich cultural legacy, mysterious history and mind blowing architecture it is no wonder why this ruin site has now been crowned one of the Seven Wonders of the World.