Machu Picchu, the iconic Inca citadel nestled high in the Peruvian Andes, holds a history shrouded in mystery and wonder. Built in the 15th century during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti, it served as a royal estate or religious retreat. Its precise purpose remains debated by historians, but it’s believed to have had astronomical and spiritual significance.
Machu Picchu’s remote location helped it avoid Spanish conquest and remained hidden from the Western world until its rediscovery by American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. Bingham’s expedition brought international attention to the site.
The archaeological marvel is renowned for its finely crafted dry-stone construction, sophisticated terracing, and the enigmatic Intihuatana stone, believed to have been an astronomical tool.
In 1983, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it continues to be a symbol of Inca engineering and culture, drawing millions of tourists annually who are captivated by its breathtaking beauty and enigmatic history.