It’s impossible to study masonry without falling in love with some of the ancient stone landmarks. These breath-taking, iconic structures withstand the test of time, many are hundreds of years old.
Not too long ago, I wrote about one of my favorite stone buildings, Edinburgh Castle. Another of my favorites is Machu Picchu, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru.
An Ancient Incan Artifact
From Quechuan, an ancient indigenous language, Machu Picchu translates to “old peak.” Historians believe it was built between 1450 and 1460, during the rule of two Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Túpac Inca Yupanqui. Most archaeologists agree that Pachacutec ordered the construction of the monument as a testament to a military victory. It served as a royal estate for a ruler and about 750 support staff. However, 80 years later, the city was abandoned, most likely due to the downfall of the Inca empire.
Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains near the basin of the Amazon, 2,430 m above sea-level. It’s a beautiful setting, and one of the most striking things about the structure is how seamlessly it fits into the landscape. Each year, it draws almost 1.5 million visitors.
To learn more about Machu Picchu, check out this article from National Geographic.