On July 24, 1911, 36-year-old Yale professor Hiram Bingham came upon the spectacular site of Machu Picchu and revealed one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Built around 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu covers 125 square miles in a dramatic mountain setting, surrounded by thick jungle. Its homes, temples, terraces, walls and other structures were stunningly built 7,970 feet above sea level without use of the wheel and without mortar. There are theories as to the purpose of the “Lost City of the Incas” and to the reason behind its abandonment in 1572, but none has been proven. The site was not completely abandoned for all those centuries however: Believe it or not, when Bingham found it, there were people still living there, cultivating the land.
Happy Birthday, glorious and mysterious Machu Picchu! Thanks to limited tourism, you look great for 100 (and even better for 561).