Unveiling the Secrets: How Machu Picchu Defied the Spanish Conquest and Stands Tall Today

Machu Picchu survived the Spanish conquest because it was hidden in the mountains and not easily accessible. Its remote location provided some protection against the Spanish forces, allowing it to remain undiscovered for centuries.

So let’s look at the request more closely

Machu Picchu, the astonishing Incan citadel nestled in the Andes Mountains of Peru, managed to survive the Spanish conquest for several reasons. Its remote location and hidden positioning played a crucial role in its preservation and protection against the Spanish forces.

Firstly, Machu Picchu’s geographical placement in the rugged mountains contributed to its survival. The citadel is situated at an elevation of approximately 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level on a ridge between two mountain peaks, making it incredibly challenging to access. The steep slopes and dense vegetation surrounding the site acted as natural barriers, shielding it from discovery and invasion. As a result, Machu Picchu remained hidden and untouched for centuries, providing insight into the Incan civilization’s architectural and cultural heritage.

In addition to its formidable geography, the timing of the Spanish conquest played a part in Machu Picchu’s survival. The citadel was abandoned by the Incas during the 16th century, around the same time the Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America. As a consequence, Machu Picchu was spared from direct confrontation with the Spanish conquerors. The Incas left behind no written records or maps that could have led the Spanish to discover the site, contributing to its obscurity.

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To further emphasize the significance of Machu Picchu’s concealment, the renowned explorer Hiram Bingham, who rediscovered the citadel in 1911, once described it as “a city ‘lost’ for centuries.” His words underscore the mystery and allure surrounding the hidden treasure of Machu Picchu, adding intrigue to its survival and ultimate revelation to the world.

Interesting facts about Machu Picchu:

  1. Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century during the height of the Incan Empire, under the rule of Emperor Pachacuti.
  2. The citadel is composed of approximately 200 structures, including temples, residences, and agricultural terraces.
  3. Although often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu was not completely unknown to the local population and some farming communities in the vicinity were aware of its existence.
  4. The purpose of Machu Picchu is still a subject of debate among historians and archaeologists, with theories ranging from a royal estate to a religious or ceremonial center.
  5. UNESCO declared Machu Picchu a World Heritage Site in 1983, recognizing its remarkable cultural and natural significance.

Here is a table showcasing some interesting facts:

Fact Information
Location Andes Mountains, Peru
Elevation Approximately 7,970 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level
Construction period Built in the 15th century during the height of the Incan Empire
Purpose The purpose of Machu Picchu is still a subject of debate among historians and archaeologists
Rediscovery Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911
UNESCO World Heritage Site Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983
Number of structures Approximately 200 structures, including temples, residences, and agricultural terraces
Known to local population Although not completely unknown to the locals, Machu Picchu remained hidden from the outside world for centuries
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In conclusion, Machu Picchu survived the Spanish conquest due to its secluded location and hidden nature within the mountains. This, coupled with the timing of its abandonment by the Incas and the absence of documented information, allowed this awe-inspiring citadel to remain concealed until its rediscovery. As American historian John Hemming states, “The Inca Empire was not destroyed by Spanish arms but by a civilization unequalled in its genius for engineering and agriculture.” Machu Picchu stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the Incan civilization.

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The Inca Empire, spanning modern-day countries such as Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile, developed a unique society that functioned almost entirely without money, using a complex system of reciprocity and cooperation among members of society and integrating conquered peoples into its central government. They also had an impressive infrastructure and engineering accomplishments, transforming their mountainous land into an agricultural powerhouse using terraces and irrigation canals. Despite their monumental buildings and guaranteed welfare, the Inca were plagued with revolts and bloody revolutions during their reigns and ultimately succumbed to the Spanish conquest led by Francisco Pizarro. The Inca fell with the capture and execution of the last Inca Emperor in 1572, decades after Manko’s rebellion.

There are other opinions

Aracari’s Weekly Insight. It is thought that the Spanish conquistadores did not track down Machu Picchu because it had actually been abandoned by the Incas shortly before the arrival of Spanish soldiers to the Cusco area during their conquest of the Incas in the 1530’s.

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Moreover, Why did the Spanish not destroy Machu Picchu?
Answer and Explanation: The Spanish did not destroy Machu Picchu because they did not know it was there. It was built high in the Andes Mountains and could not be seen from below. No one told the Spanish it was there, so they could not destroy it.

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Similarly, How did Machu Picchu survive Spanish conquest?
The reply will be: Machu Picchu was a retreat for the aristocracy roughly 80 miles from Cusco, the then-capital of the empire. It’s surrounded by steep cliffs and has a single, narrow entrance, enabling a small defense to stave off the attack of an otherwise overwhelming force.

How did Machu Picchu survive?
The reply will be: Machu Picchu’s central buildings are prime examples of a masonry technique mastered by the Incas in which stones were cut to fit together without mortar. These precisely crafted walls have made the buildings relatively resistant to the ravages of weather and earthquakes.

Did the Spanish conquest Machu Picchu?
Answer: Though they vanquished the Inca Empire, Spaniards never laid a hand on Machu Picchu because they never found it. Thankfully, it was protected by the deep cloud forest’s vegetation and the mountain’s altitude and difficult terrain.

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