Posted by: danielfee | March 13, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 03-13-2012

Temple of the Sun - Machu Picchu, Peru

Temple of the Sun

  

The Temple of the Sun is located in the center of Machu Picchu. This round tapering tower features the most perfect stone work to be found in Machu Picchu. It contains sacred niches for holding idols or offerings and the centerpiece is a great rock which part of the actual outcrop on which the temple is built. During the winter solstice, the sun rays pass through the central window and fall directly on the large central ceremonial stone. There are many opinions regarding the purpose of the temple of the sun. One of them states that the temple was built as an altar for female priests or the Virgins of the Sun but skeletal remains dug at the temple are of both sexes. Other opinions regarding the reason for the temple mention that the Pachacuti, or the great ruler of the Inca, built it to serve as his own monument. Still others mention the existence of stones that mark where the sun is positioned during the equinox so the Inca Temple must have been an observatory.
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