The Building Procedure Some were cut from the mountain ridge's granite bedrock. Hundreds of men moved the massive stone up the steep mountain slope without the use of wheels. The structures of Machu Picchu were constructed using a method known as "ldquo ashlar." The stones are carved to fit together without the need of mortar. When complete, one structure will not show any seams where the blocks join.
Machupicchu was built over several years by the Inca emperor Pachacuti. It is believed that there were approximately 6,000 people working on the project during this time. The entrance way and main square of the city were the first structures built. Then came the Intihuatana, or four-sided pillar with an engraved slab on top, which was used as a clock. Next came the Temple of the Sun, followed by five other important buildings in order of construction date: the Royal Quarry, the Fortress, the Curate Church, the Collao Church, and finally, the Main Pyramid.
Machu Picchu is an ancient Indian site located in the Andes Mountains near Cuzco, Peru. It is best known for its impressive citadel surrounded by trees and flowers. The site was abandoned around 1550 but still contains many original structures including temples, palaces, and even farms. Today, Machu Picchu is protected by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site.
Another fascinating enigma about Machu Picchu is how it was created without the use of a wheel. Although the Incas were aware of the existence of the wheel, they never employed it. Many massive granite rocks needed in the citadel's construction had to be carried up the steep Andean highlands before they could be installed. These rocks came from locations as far away as 140 miles (225 km). They were used to build the walls and terraces of the complex.
The Inca built Machu Picchu using only local materials. There are no trees near Machu Picchu with which to cut timber, so all the wood used in its construction was brought from afar. The stones that make up the fortress were taken from nearby mountains. Even some of the metal tools used by the builders were imported from other parts of South America.
Machu Picchu was built between 1471 and 1541. It was probably designed by Pachacuti, who became king at the age of twenty-one. He moved his capital from Cuzco to Machu Picchu and renamed the city La Inka (the emperor). Under his rule, the empire reached its greatest extent, including parts of present-day Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. But despite this success, none of Pachacuti's sons survived childhood. When he died in 1504, his brother Túpac Huallpa took over the throne.
Machu Picchu, located in the Sacred Valley, is an example of the Incas adapting building tactics to the area's geography. While other Pre-Columbian societies built man-made mountains, the Incas focused on the natural geography surrounding them. They built over 200 structures in and around Cusco alone, many of which have survived today.
As you travel through the Sacred Valley, keep an eye out for the many impressive ruins that lie within walking distance of one another. These include Pucara, Qoricancha (the Temple of Gold), and Carihuaira (the Fortress).
Machu Picchu itself is a small, ancient city that the Incas built as their capital in 1532. It is surrounded by trees and plants that the Incas cultivated for food and medicine. Today, it is home to wildlife including monkeys, foxes, and deer.
The journey there takes about five hours by bus from downtown Cuzco; however, some people choose to take a tour instead. These can be arranged through most all hotels or online using specialized websites.
Tickets usually include entry fees to Machu Picchu as well as transportation on a guided tour. There are also multiday passes available if you want to visit later in the year when crowds are smaller.