Why was Machu Picchu built


why was machu picchu built

Why Was Machu Picchu Built On the Top of a Mountain

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is located in one of the most dramatic and beautiful places on our planet. It is located between the Andean foothills and the beginning of the Amazon jungle. We are sure that it is not only its dramatic and beautiful natural environment; why Machu Picchu was built over there, the top of a rugged mountain. The Inca dynasty must have had another great reason; for having built such a well-planned and impressive citadel on top of a mountain. The Inca writing system was almost completely erased by the Spanish crown and that is why; the function and importance that Machu Picchu had in the Inca empire is not 100% known.

If you will soon visit Machu Picchu, in this article we give you an interesting perspective on why Machu Picchu was built by the Incas.

There is no doubt that one of the reasons; why the ninth Inca emperor chose this dramatic location to build his citadel are: the natural, magical and religious characteristics of the emplacement. The sacred river of the Incas and the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains; surround the Inca city of Machu Picchu. Which in turn are surrounded by larger snow-capped mountains that also played an important role; in the functionality of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The snow capped mountains were considered sacred by the Incas; As they were considered, water providers, protectors and ancestors. But it is not all, the citadel also has many sacred places in honor of various sacred deities such as: mountains, stars, the moon and especially the sun.

The Inca priests and spiritists in the citadel of Machu Picchu, carefully observed the movement of the sun, moon, and stars. They made constructions perfectly aligned, with specific movements and moments of the sun, such as; solstices and equinoxes, as well as lunar and stellar phases. All these observations were taken into account to decide the location of these buildings, and the orientation of the doors and windows. Although Inca religion and architecture help us, to get an idea on why Machu Picchu was built; Its true purpose still remains a mystery.


why was machu picchu built


Following, we listed the most known and logical theories about, why was Machu Picchu built:

  1. Machu Picchu as an astronomical observatory.

Machu Picchu is located between, the Andes mountain range foothills and the beginning of the Amazon jungle. The place where the citadel is built is surrounded completely by mountains; that act as natural markers of sunrise, sunset, moon, stars and constellations. At the same time it is archaeoastronomical demonstrated, that many of its structures such as: shrines, doors, windows, altars, etc; are deliberately and closely aligned with some cosmic phenomenon, 365 days a year in 360 degrees.


  1. Summer royal retreat.

The ninth Inca emperor named: “Pachacutec” was looking for a nice place to relax, and be in connection with his sacred deities; he was looking for a place surrounded by mountains, rivers and with special astronomical events to free himself from the stress: of the administrative, political and economic life of Cusco.


  1. It may have been the end of a pilgrimage.

An interesting new hypothesis, proposed by Italian archaeologist Giulio Magli; suggests that the trip to the citadel of Machu Picchu from Cusco, through the Inca Trail could have had a ceremonial purpose. To relive the mythical  journey that, according to legend, the first Inca (Manco Capac); made when he left the Island of the Sun in the lake Titicaca. The Inca emperor built an impressive Inca Trail on the banks of the Urubamba River, which according to the investigations carried out by magli; was prepared for pilgrims to enter Machu Picchu.


  1. Machu Picchu as administrative center.

Between the Amazon jungle and the Andes foothills, is where Machu Picchu is located. Its geographical location is essential to administer and control exotic products highly valued from the practical; and religious aspects of the Inca dynasty. The beginning of the Amazon jungle where Machu Picchu is located, and the Amazon itself were highly appreciated by the Incas; because in these places were found exotic and tasty fruits such as: pineapple, papaya, lucuma, custard Apple, peruvian passion fruit, etc. In addition, the sacred coca leaf, colorful feathers of exotic birds, medicinal plants and gold nuggets, are found in the jungle.

So to have an administrative place, on this location: such as the citadel of Machu Picchu, must have been strategic.

Learn more about: exotic and tasty peruvian fruits you need to try


  1. Machu Picchu as a colonizing town

The Inca dynasty since the 15th century, also had great interest in conquering and colonizing the Peruvian Amazon; due to its huge natural resources. The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu; as well as many other citadels built by the Incas in the region, could have fulfilled this function.


  1. Machu Picchu was built as a multifunctional town

The Inca dynasty, was the largest and most powerful civilization in the world in the 15th century; it reached that splendor, thanks to a practical and efficient administration of their rulers. Many of the Inca cities, citadels and towns; fulfilled administrative, political, economic, social and religious functions at the same time.

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