The prevailing opinion today is that Machu Picchu was not a city in the classical sense of the word but served as an imperial estate, a religious refuge, or a secret ceremonial city.
On July 24, 1911, the American historian Hiram Bingham discovered the famous Machu Picchu archeological site (translated as Holy Peaks) in Peru. It is the most attractive site from the Inca period. It is important to note that the locals were previously aware of the existence of remains at the site, but Hiram Bingham, a lecturer at Yale at the time, proclaimed the site in the Western world, thus gaining world fame.
The Machu Picchu site is located in the Andes, about 350 kilometers from the Pacific coast and about 70 kilometers from Cuzco, the former Inca capital. Most archaeologists believe that it was built as the property of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1472). After conquering the territory, a powerful Inca army built irrigation canals and paved road systems, and builders built fortresses, temples, and monumental stone buildings. The prevailing opinion today is that Machu Picchu was not a city in the classical sense of the word because no remains of a bureaucratic administration, trade or military fortification were found. It was most likely built as an imperial estate and religious refuge or as a secret ceremonial city.
The city, which had been forgotten for 400 years, seems to have been abandoned even before the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards. According to one theory, the inhabitants were stricken with syphilis that came from Europe, and the rest was done by the civil war.
To this day, Machu Picchu has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in South America, and a large number of tourists is a challenge for the conditions there. The site is located at approximately 2400 meters above sea level.