Machu Picchu is situated on a mountain ridge 8,000 ft above sea level. It is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” and is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire.
The Inca civilization was the largest empire in pre- Columbian America.
The structure was constructed by the Incas in the early 15th century, but abandoned for over a hundred years after the Spanish conquest of the Incas. Machu Picchu was built in classical Inca style, consisting of polished dry-stone walls.
During the war it was never found by the Spanish and consequently not plundered and destroyed.
Smallpox is thought to have ravished the city during the 15th century. In 1913, Machu Picchu received significant publicity after the National Geographic Society dedicated an entire issue to the area. It is an absolute masterpiece of ancient architecture and was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1983.
It is an important cultural site and a sacred place. The site is Peru’s most visited tourist attraction and major money maker. It has become an ongoing controversial issue as many residents and scientists feel that the ruins should be untouched. Machu Picchu has been ranked as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.