Machu Picchu in Peru, the hidden kingdom of the Inca civilization
The Incas kingdom in Peru and other South American countries were already very well established when the Spaniards announced their arrival in South America in the 16th century. At its peak, there were 15 mills. inhabitants. In other words, the Incas had created a gigantic kingdom, especially with the population of that time, a kingdom stretching from Colombia to the north to northern Argentina and Chile to the south. It was in every way great, but the then brutal Spaniards changed it all. One after the other of the brave Inca worriers fell to the Spanish conquerors, who were far better equipped military, but not Machu Picchu, for it was never found by the Spaniards. Perhaps because of its hard-to-reach location, which the Incas had undoubtedly considered when choosing the place. The city slowly slipped into the darkness of oblivion until an American historian and explorer rediscovered the city in the abandoned ruin in 1911. The city was rediscovered on July 24, 1911, by the American historian of Yale University, Hiram Bingham. He later wrote several books and articles on Machu Picchu. His book The Lost City of Incas became a bestseller. Even more publicity was given to the city, as the National Geographic magazine in 1913 devoted its entire April issue to Machu Picchu.
Map over Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu (Quechua Machu Picchu) is a well-preserved pre-Columbian town, located on a high hill at 2,057 meters above the Urubamba Valley approx. 80 km from Cuzco in southern Peru. It is a UNESCO World, Heritage List.
The retreat of the Inka bosses
It is believed that the city was built from around 1400 by Sapa Inka Pachacuti. SapaInka or also called Qhapaq was the supreme leader and king of the Kingdom of Cuzco and later also of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu). Machu Picchu was inhabited until the Spanish conquest in 1532. Archaeological findings show that it was not an average city but rather a form for retreat for Inca leaders and “nobles”. It is estimated that a maximum of only about 750 people have lived in the city and probably fewer in the rainy season when none of the powerful Incas were visiting. Only 173 skeletons were found, of which 150 were women. What happened to them is shrouded in mystery. Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Incas for unknown reasons and “forgotten”, probably because its function was no longer needed after the Spanish conquest.
Come to Machu Picchu via Cusco
Gateway to Machu Picchu and the only way into the earth is Cusco, former capital of the Inca and one of the oldest cities still in existence since the 15th century in the Western world. The connection with Cuzco consists only of a narrow-gauge railway. The last stop by road from Cuzco is Ollantaytambo, about two and a half hours train ride from Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo can be reached by car or bus from Cuzco. A popular alternative to trains is walking along Inkastien. Good trip!
Other relevant travel links
- Petra in Jordan, the forgotten oasis, (7 wonders list also)
- More about South America, Angel Falls: the tallest waterfall in the world
- Colosseum in Rome (7 wonders list also)