Machu Picchu

Which of the following landmarks is located in the Andes Mountains?

Considering Machu Picchu, Great Wall of China, The Matterhorn, or Mount Everest, the answer is Machu Picchu.

Built in the 15th century by the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is set on a steep ridge in the Andes Mountains in Peru. It's a complex of stone palaces, homes, plazas, and temples, and considered among the greatest artistic and architectural developments on Earth. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named it a World Heritage Site in 1983.

Located nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu has been well preserved over the centuries. Though Western (largely American and British) forces did not discover the sanctuary until 1911, locals from the region had been well acquainted for hundreds of years prior. Peru's Spanish conquerors failed to discover the site years prior, contributing to its continued preservation.

The site was built uniquely tailored to its environment. Its many complexes, monuments and citadels were designed to interconnect with each other and the mountain upon which it rests. For this sacred site, everything is related to the other. This fact is one of many contributing to the longstanding and largely preserved nature of the site. Its engineering is masterful, intentional and effective, especially considering what tools were available at the time of its construction. Somehow, the Ancient Incas were able to construct an entire complex without the use of steel, iron or even wheels.

Even today, the original intent behind Machu Picchu remains somewhat a mystery. For a secluded city high in the Andes, many have guessed its use as a ceremonial site, military stronghold or retreat for ruling elites. Yet no matter the original purpose, Machu Picchu remains a site laden with cultural significance.

Check out this National Geographic video for more:

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