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April 25, 2011 / Omar J. Peters

Machupicchu: The Lost City of the Incas

Machupicchu is a pre-Columbian 15th-century Inca site in Peru. It is one of the greatest of all South American tourist attractions, for its beautiful stone architecture enhanced by the Incas’ exploitation of local 250-million-year-old rocks, and its spectacular views of dark-green forested mountains that spike up from the deep valleys of the Urubamba River.

The Incas started building the city around AD 1400 but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. The ruins were left largely intact because they were not discovered by Spanish conquerors. Machupicchu only came to the world scene in July 1911, after being discovered by the US explorer Hiram Bingham.

More than a hundred flights of steep stone steps interconnect Machupicchu’s palaces, temples, storehouses and terraces, and the outstanding views command not only the valley below in both directions but also extend to the snowy peaks around.

(via: Yahoo! Travel and Wikipedia)

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