1. Travel

Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu

By

Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu

Temple of the Sun, Machu Picchu

ArtToday.com
There are many ceremonial temples and sites at Machu Pichhu. The Temple of the Sun was used to honor and celebrate Inti, the Sun, an important Incan deity. When the sun of the winter solstice enters through the central window, it falls directly on the large ceremonial stone. The round building protects the stone.

Experts differ on the purpose of Machu Picchu. Some say it was the domain of female priests, the Virgins of the Sun, but remains found on site are of both genders. Some of the female remains show the women had given birth.

Others speculate that the Inca Pachacuti or Pachacutec built it as monument to his own greatness, possibly as a summer or royal retreat. Perhaps the city was an agricultural outpost, given the number of terraces, water channels and irrigation canals. Or perhaps an observatory, the summer home of the Inca rulers, or a combination of all?

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. South America Travel

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.