Principal Temple

Machu Picchu

The ‘temple’ derives its name from the massive solidity and perfection of its construction. The damage to the rear right corner is the result of the ground settling below this corner rather than any inherent weakness in the masonry itself.

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Nearby Machu Picchu attractions

1. Sacristy

Behind and connected to the Principal Temple lies this famous small building. It has many well-carved niches, perhaps used for the storage of ceremonial…

2. Temple of the Three Windows

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Important buildings flank the remaining three sides of the Sacred Plaza. The Temple of the Three Windows features huge trapezoidal windows that give the…

4. Central Plaza

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The plaza separates the ceremonial sector from the residential and industrial areas.

5. Sacred Plaza

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Climbing the stairs above the ceremonial baths, there is a flat area of jumbled rocks, once used as a quarry. Turn right at the top of the stairs and walk…

6. Intihuatana

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This Quechua word loosely translates as the ‘Hitching Post of the Sun’ and refers to the carved rock pillar, often mistakenly called a sundial, at the top…

7. Ceremonial Baths

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If you head straight into the ruins from the main entry gate, you pass through extensive terracing to a beautiful series of 16 connected ceremonial baths…

8. Prison Group

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At the lower end of this area is the Prison Group, a labyrinthine complex of cells, niches and passageways, positioned both under and above the ground.