It's official: Peru is a truly wonderful place! Peru's Machu Picchu was named as one of the "new" seven wonders of the world yesterday in a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. The seven wonders were chosen by a vote conducted mainly on the Internet. Over 100 million votes from around the globe were cast to determine the winners.
Machu Picchu is the most recognized symbol of the Inca Empire and perhaps the most familiar archaeological site in the Western Hemisphere. Machu Picchu was built around 1450 about 50 miles from the Inca capitol of Cusco. It was one of the few sites not destroyed by the Spanish as they conquered the great empire. It was left undiscovered by the rest of the world until 1911 when historian Hiram Bingham discovered the ancient site.
It was a pleasure to watch the excitement and pride that the New Seven Wonders contest promoted here in Peru. Cheers could be heard in the streets when the site was named a world wonder. Last night the downtown streets were filled with celebration and a fireworks display brightened the night sky. The contest only proved what we already knew: Peru is a truly wonderful place.