We are here! One of the Seven Wonders of the World! We will spend time today walking throughout the site with our guide, Freddie, who will give us the highlights of the settlement; the houses, the temples, and the main archaeological points of interest. (Tomorrow, we come back to climb all the stairs and explore on our own).
The space is composed of 140 structures or features, including temples, sanctuaries, parks, and residences that include houses with thatched roofs. There are more than one hundred flights of stone steps –often completely carved from a single block of granite –and numerous water fountains. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu
Below the slide show and gallery are more comments from Wikipedia on this site, just in case you wanted to know!
The Incas started building the “estate” around AD 1400 but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers 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. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction.
Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. In September 2007, Peru and Yale University almost reached an agreement regarding the return of artifacts which Yale has held since Hiram Bingham removed them from Machu Picchu in the early 20th century. In November 2010, a Yale University representative agreed to return the artifacts to a Peruvian university.