The remnants of the Inca civilization are fantastic. Seeing those made the trip to Perú special.

From the Inca Empire entry in Wikipedia:

The Inca Empire, also known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Its political and administrative structure is considered by most scholars to have been the most developed in the Americas before Columbus' arrival. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. Its last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572.

From 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean Mountains, using conquest and peaceful assimilation, among other methods. At its largest, the empire joined Perú, southwest Ecuador, western and south central Bolivia, northwest Argentina, a large portion of what is today Chile, and a small part of southwest Colombia into a state comparable to the historical empires of Eurasia. Its official language was Quechua. Many local forms of worship persisted in the empire, most of them concerning local sacred Huacas, but the Inca leadership encouraged the sun worship of Inti – their sun god – and imposed its sovereignty above other cults such as that of Pachamama. The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the "son of the sun."

I visited several sites around Cusco. City of Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I then took the train to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is fantastic to visit. Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Machu Picchu is connected by the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Inca road system connected most of the Andes in the 15th century, covering some 30,000 km (19,000 miles).

The Inca sites in Perú are more examples of the many sites of Ancient Civilizations that I visited during my travels.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.


From the Cusco entry in Wikipedia:

Cusco, often spelled Cuzco, is a city in southeastern Perú, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region and of the Cusco Province. In 2017, the city had a population of 428,450. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,150 ft).

The site was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th-century Spanish conquest. In 1983 Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with the title "City of Cuzco".

The Killke people occupied the region from 900 to 1200, prior to the arrival of the Inca in the 13th century. Carbon-14 dating of Saksaywaman, the walled complex outside Cusco, established that Killke constructed the fortress about 1100. The Inca later expanded and occupied the complex in the 13th century. Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire (13th century–1532).

Huge Open Inca Playing
Huge open Inca playing field with spectator terraces near Cusco. (1017k)
Huge Stone Wall Side
Huge stone wall on the other side of the playing field. (802k)
Stone Wall Notice Accurate
Stone wall. Notice the accurate fit of the stones in various shapes. (1022k)
Inca Stone Wall Recent
Inca stone wall with recent reconstructions. (1002k)
Size Comparison Stone Wall
Size comparison of the stone wall. (1015k)
Huge Corner Stones Stone
One of the huge corner stones on this stone wall. (793k)
Stone Work Detail
Stone work detail. (828k)
Doors Windows Wall Niches
Doors, windows and wall niches are all tapered on the top. This is not a perspective illusion, they are built like that. (1207k)
Fountain Water Fountains Ubiquitous
Fountain. Water fountains are ubiquitous in Inca ruins. They were quite important for the Inca. (990k)
Fountain. (1182k)
Inca Structures Around Temple
Inca structures around a temple near Cusco. (821k)
Inca Structures Build Sheer
Some of the Inca structures are build in the sheer cliff faces. (993k)
Irrigation Channel Water Would
Irrigation Channel. The water would run down the channel. At the terrace that they wanted to water, a stone slab would divert the water from the channel to the terrace. (1368k)
Temple Cusco
Temple near Cusco. (812k)
Detail Stone Work Temple
Detail of the stone work in this temple. The construction here is quite different from the large stone wall around the playing field above. (984k)
Narrow Farming Terraces Arount
Narrow farming terraces arount a temple near Cusco. (1304k)
Inca Trail Mountain Distance
The Inca trail on the mountain in the distance near Cusco. This is the trail that leads to Machu Picchu. It is part of Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System. (1227k)
Temple Cusco Note Incredible
Temple in Cusco. Note the incredible accuracy of the stone work. This was the most accurately constructed stone work that I saw. (674k)
Temple Detail Cusco
Temple detail in Cusco. (952k)

Machu Picchu

From the Machu Picchu entry in Wikipedia:

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Perú, on a 2,430 m (7,970 ft) mountain ridge. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows, cutting through the Cordillera and creating a canyon with a tropical mountain climate.

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas" (a title more accurately applied to Vilcabamba), it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored and restoration continues.

Train Machu Picchu Runs
The train to Machu Picchu runs through this valley. (873k)
View Valley Below Machu
View of the valley below Machu Picchu. (978k)
Train Station Below Machu
Train station below Machu Picchu. The river behind the station was a raging current, since it was rainy season. (1269k)
Switchback Going Machu Picchu
Switchback going up to Machu Picchu. (1346k)
View Machu Picchu Clouds
View of Machu Picchu in the clouds. (883k)
Farming Terraces Behind Machu
Farming Terraces behind Machu Picchu. (1026k)
Farming Terraces Machu Picchu
Farming Terraces on Machu Picchu. Most of this is reconstructed. (1314k)
Rainbow Below Machu Picchu
Rainbow below Machu Picchu. (1200k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (984k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (1096k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (1090k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (1195k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (912k)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu. (899k)
Machu Picchu Bedrock Integrated
Machu Picchu. The bedrock is integrated into the buildings. (1139k)
Valley Below Machu Picchu
Valley below Machu Picchu with Inca ruin in the foreground. (1359k)
Inca Building Machu Picchu
Inca building in Machu Picchu. (1155k)
Stone Walls Machu Picchu
Stone walls in Machu Picchu. (1167k)
Stone Walls Machu Picchu
Stone walls in Machu Picchu. (1064k)
Bedrock Integrated Walls Inca
The bedrock is integrated in the walls that the Inca built. (1045k)
Sun Clock Intihuatana Quechua
A sun clock (Intihuatana in Quechua). Like most of the religiously important structures it shows three steps. (980k)
Worship Place Showing Three
Another worship place, showing the three steps. (1347k)
Worship Place Showing Three
Another worship place, showing the three steps. (1436k)
Place Worship
Another place of worship. (1158k)
Passage Machu Picchu
Passage in Machu Picchu. (1116k)
Doorway Machu Picchu Again
A doorway in Machu Picchu. It again shows the tapered shape. Above the doorway is a stone ring (seen head-on) that is used to hang the actual door. The holes to the right and left of the doorway serve to hold the door shut. (1.5M)
Fountain. (1362k)
Order Split Large Stones
In order to split the large stones, the Inca presumably carved a row of holes in a stone, put wooden pegs in the holes, and then put water on the pegs to make them swell and break the stone. This is from a re-enactment of this procedure, done shortly after Machu Picchu was re-discovered. (1.7M)
Bottom Part Wall Built
The bottom part of this wall was built by the Inca, the top was put on recently. What a difference in construction! (1237k)
Farming Terraces Machu Picchu
Farming terraces on Machu Picchu, with the Inca trail on the mountain behind it. This is the trail that leads to Cusco. I walked it a little bit, but it quickly got uncomfortable with my acrophobia. (955k)
Inca Trail Mist
Inca trail in the mist. (1040k)

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Page last updated on Mon May 30 13:11:11 2022 (Mountain Standard Time)

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