Located high above the clouds and the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu is filled with works of architectural wonder. The Inca craftsmen who built the city took care to shape the building's stones so exact mortar is not required because each piece fits so closely together. Even centuries later you cannot fit even a thin knife between the stones. The city of Machu Picchu was once a vibrant city, and the Incas built many buildings in which to live, keep an eye on enemies, and honor sacred figures in accordance with their religious beliefs. There are many feats of architectural mastery you won't want to miss when traveling to Peru and Machu Picchu.
Inti the sun god was considered a powerful player in Incan religion, and as such was often prayed to for rain, crop growth and good weather. In his honor, the Intihuatana stone was built on Machu Picchu. The Intihuatana stone was built with a large column of stone set on top of a large square stone. Many believe that if you touch your forehead to the stone you can see the spirit world. This notion continues to draw visitors to the stone each year.
The mountains were also worshiped in Incan culture, and to honor them the people of Machu Picchu placed a stone facing the mountain carved to resemble its namesake. This mountain stone is a place where people still travel to today to pray.
Temple of the Sun
Formed by a series of buildings within the citadel or urban section of Machu Picchu, the temple of the sun is semicircular in its design and located on top of a solid curved rock that is more than 30 feet in length. Blocks that make up the walls of this temple were clearly finely worked, as were two of the wall's windows that are trapezoid in shape.
Article Written By Virginia Franco
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.