Wikijunior:World Heritage Sites/Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is located in southern Peru, on a mountain 2,430 metres (7,970 feet) high. Most archaeologists (people who who studies the objects of people who lived in the past) believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as a palace for the Inca dynasty emperor Pachacuti. The Incas built the compound around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known in Peru, it was not known to the Spanish during the time where they occupied Peru and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian (a person who studies and writes about the past) Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911.
Machu Picchu consist of three main structures, namely Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the buildings on the edges of the complex have been rebuilt 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 till today. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historic Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Machu Picchu is both a cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since its discovery in 1911, growing numbers of tourists have visited the site each year, including 1,411,279 in 2017.