Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, is a fortress city of the ancient Incas. The ruins are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. While the Inca people certainly used the Andean mountain top, erecting hundreds of stone structures in the 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was revered as a sacred place from a far earlier time. Whatever its origins, the Inca turned the site into a small but extraordinary city. Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs, Machu Picchu seems to have been used by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the Urubamba river, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and about 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation.