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Machu Picchu Peru’s Lost City of the Incas

Machu Picchu  megalithic wall adjacent to the House of Three Windows.

End wall of the megalithic wall adjacent to the House of Three Windows. These two megalithic houses face a courtyard overlooking steep, descending terraces to the north. To the left is the courtyard on which the House of Three Windows (next image) also fronts.

One of the end walls of the House of Three Windows at Machu Picchu.

One of the end walls of the House of Three Windows. Note Upper House framed by the window. The plaza is to the left.

Machu Picchu view of the Torreon from above.

View of the Torreon from above. This view is looking upstream into the Urubamba Canyon, in the direction of sunrise. The large window is seen in the next view also. This window has been theorized to have an astronomical orientation.

Machu Picchu Torreon is perched on an immense rock and above a small cave.

The Torreon is perched on an immense rock and above a small cave. Local folklore claims the cave is the birthplace of an Inca.

Machu Picchu Torreon interior.

View of the Machu Picchu ruins and Huayna Picchu from the agricultural terraces.

View of the Machu Picchu ruins and Huayna Picchu, the peak on the right, from the agricultural terraces. The small center peak is the location of the Intihuatani. The plaza area is in its foreground.

View from the Intihuatana across the upper plaza and upstream in the Urubamba Valley.
View from the Intihuatana across the upper plaza and upstream in the Urubamba Valley.
Incan Intihuatana, "hitching post of the Sun," found at Machu Picchu.
The only known intact Incan Intihuatana, “hitching post of the Sun,” is found at Machu Picchu. Because the Spanish conquerors never found the site, the sculpture remains unbroken. (Since writing, the Intihuatana was broken while filming a commercial.)
View from the House of Three Windows area across Machu Picchu's plaza
View from the House of Three Windows area across the plaza. The foreground terracing separates the upper and lower plazas. The Urubamba River passes far below, to the right of the peak in the background, flowing towards the ruins and then around the base of Huaynu Picchu’s sheer, vertical slopes.

Machu Picchu, House of Three Windows viewed from the plaza area.

House of Three Windows viewed from the plaza area. The cyclopean blocks in the lower wall are a terrace. The floor in the room is a few feet below the windows.

Machu Picchu megalithic masonry.
View from inside the House of Three Windows viewing across the plaza through the windows.

View from inside the House of Three Windows viewing across the plaza through the windows. This and the adjoining house (image below) have three stone walls each and open onto a common courtyard. These two buildings and the Torreon present some of the finest Incan masonry. P

View from the ruins to the right of Huaynu Picchu into the Urubamba Canyon.
View from the ruins to the right of Huaynu Picchu into the Urubamba Canyon. Sheer vertical cliffs wrap around Huaynu Picchu. This impenetrable terrain prevented discovery of the ruins by the Spanish.
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