They ruled for one century only

Then the Spaniards came, destroyed, raped, killed and brought Catholicism. Sometimes I am ashamed to be European.

The Inca were the undisputed champions of constructing. You all have seen pictures of the massive wall they built. All their major buildings were erected without the use of mortar. But the stones were polished with such an unbelievable precision that they fit perfectly on and in each other. No need for mortar, and this made them very resistant to earthquakes.

In Cusco , the former Inca capital, are the remaining of the famous  Temple of the Sun. The Conquistadores destroyed everything, stole the golden statues and artifacts, melted them and send the treasure to Spain. Then they erected a cathedral on the ruins. Looking at these foundations today, one would never imagine that these perfect stones are more than five centuries old. In1950 a major earthquake damaged most of the Spanish constructions, only the Inca walls remained intact. One major Inca sites was Ollantaytambo. More than 500 year old terraces are in perfect condition, an unfinished temple overlooks the valley. Huge granite blocks lay around; it looks as if the site had been abandoned from one day to the other.

But there is one site that escaped the Spanish massacre: Machu Picchu. Nested at 2650 meters on top of a steep mountain, it is invisible from the valley. The Inca had amazing knowledge in building and astronomy, but they ignored writing. So, most of Machu Picchu’s history might be pure speculation.  Was it a secondary residence for the Inca? A fortress? Probably not. For sure it was a worship place on a holy mountain and a study place for astronomy.  It took 20000 workers 70 years to build Machu Picchu. Once finished some 700 people lived here, all nobles and scientists. But a century after its foundation, the site was abandoned; nobody knows why.

Machu Picchu was rediscovered 100 years ago; it was all recovered by jungle. Today the site is in a perfect condition, 200 workers take care of it. All the buildings are in their original state. Logically the site has been classified as a World Heritage Site, and recently it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.