General information about Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu. Due to the enormous cultural and natural attractions of the Inca city and its spectacular surroundings, the Peruvian state declared them a Protected Natural Area in 1981. In 1983, UNESCO declared the Sanctuary a World Heritage Site. The site is north west of Cusco, about 112 kilometres by railway, amidst an impressive geography of steep mountain ridges separated by narrow valleys and deep ravines. Machu Picchu is important, because besides its archaeological value, it has a variety of ecosystems within its boundaries.

Machu Picchu is by nature mysterious – and it has kept many researchers puzzled for years. They Machu Picchu - Lost city of the Incashave used many myths and symbols left by the Inca culture to explain the position of many cities and fantastic temples in the Sacred Valley. Fernando E. Elorrieta Salazar y Edgar Elorrieta wrote a book titled, “The Sacred Valley of the Incas, of the myths and the symbols”.

These brothers investigated why Machu Picchu was constructed in its’ location and came up with some revoluntionary discoveries. The Incas had a cosmological vision of their existence, following th myths and legends and everything was sacred. Sacred was connected with the word, “huaca” which had a range of meanings, and could mean something sacred, a temple, consecrated place, things that appeared to Machu Picchu - Living quartersexist out of the natural order, and things notable because of their exceptional beauty or excellence, or things that became sacred because of their natural energy, like sculptures of humans, of animals etc.

In addition, the Incas had a parallel meaning for the Huaca – that of Huauque or brother. For example, they saw the Valley of the Urubamba like a reflexion of the Milky Way, el Mayu. The abundance of sacred elements found at Machu Picchu confirms the conviction that the Incas constructed a sacred city like a place of pilgrimage or sanctuary. The signs constructed by the Incas, known as the the sign of the Inca, was probably the chronological order followed by the Incas before they found the place in which they Machu Picchu - Inti Huatanabuilt Machu Picchu. Like a reclining jewel this city in the centre of the surrounding peaks and circled by the Vilcanota River that twists around the city like an enormous serpent down to the tropical rainforest.

The mountain Machu Picchu (and the same city that is situated at its foot) and the mountain Huayna Picchu upwards makes a belt around this magical place. The higher mountains around represent a second belt. The Incas believed that this place was chosen by the cosmos to construct a sacred city. In the Inti Raymi (24th June) there appears a triangle in two concentric circles carved inot the Intihuatana that signals to Machu Picchu).

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