The central buildings of Machu Picchu use the classical Inca architectural style of polished dry-stone walls of regular shape. The Incas were masters of this technique, called ashlar, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together tightly without mortar. Many junctions in the central city are so perfect that it is said not even a blade of grass fits between the stones.
The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.
Dark clouds accentuate the mountain in the background at the ruins of the lost city of the Incas
Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire. The construction of Machu Picchu appears to date from the period of the two great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438-71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472-93). It was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572 as a belated result of the Spanish Conquest.
Machu Picchu, located in Peru, is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 meters (7,970 ft.) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometers (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.
An artist’s version of the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire’s main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and one of the most important areas for maize production in Peru