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Peruvian city of Machu Picchu place of untold mystery

By Greg Goodsell
April 1st, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The breath-taking Peruvian city of Machu Picchu draws countless tourists by its beauty and ancient, spiritual atmosphere. Why the Incas built such a place in such a remote area remains a fathomless mystery.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The sight before me seemed like something from an idyllic dream -- an ancient city suspended above the clouds," National Geographic correspondent Johan Reinhard says. "I thought I knew what to expect, but Machu Picchu is one of the few places in the world where reality often surpasses a person's imagination.

"The light reflecting off the Urubamba River a distant 2,000 feet below made the green mound topped by miniature ruins appear tied with a silver ribbon. As the clouds cleared, the day turned beautiful; in the distance, snow-capped peaks glinted in the sun."

According to Reinhard, the most amazing and perplexing aspect of Machu Picchu is "how its well-planned architecture blends with the spectacular scenery of the surrounding peaks and gorges. Misty conditions wrap the stone engineering in a soft cloak of magic and mystery."

"Each time I return to Machu Picchu I notice something new: an alignment of structures, a natural feature, a detail that reveals a little more about life here 500 years ago," he says.

Built by the Inca in a rugged, isolated area of Peru, Machu Picchu was discovered by civilized man when geographer Hiram Bingham found it in 1911. There is no record of why Machu Picchu was built since the Inca had no writing. "This is no small puzzle: The Inca went to extraordinary lengths to construct a city in a area in which only a few had managed to live before. Even today the ruins perched high on a ridge look like they could slide into the precipitous gorge below."

For more information on this most mystical place, you can log on to http://www.peru-machu-picchu.com/

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