Ubicado a 2.430 metros de altura en un paraje de gran belleza, en medio de un bosque tropical de montaña, el santuario de Machu Picchu fue probablemente la realización arquitectónica más asombrosa del Imperio Inca en su apogeo. Sus murallas, terrazas y rampas gigantescas dan la impresión de haber sido esculpidas en las escarpaduras de la roca, como si formaran parte de ésta. El marco natural, situado en la vertiente oriental de los Andes, forma parte de la cuenca superior del Amazonas, que posee una flora y fauna muy variadas.
Declaratoria del Santuario Histórico de Machu Picchu como Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad
Durante el 7 periodo de sesiones del Comité del Patrimonio Mundial, realizado en Florencia, Italia, entre el 5 y el 9 de diciembre de 1983, a través de la Decisión 07COM VIII.29 se declaró al santuario histórico de Machu Picchu como patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. El valor universal excepcional de la ciudad de Cusco fue sustentado en los criterios i) y iii) de la Convención del Patrimonio Mundial. El Comité observó que este sitio debía ser inscrito tanto por sus valores culturales y naturales, ya que esta propiedad también cumple con los criterios naturales ii) y iii).
Observación: Para 1983, se manejaban dos listas de criterios por separado. Actualmente, los criterios se han unificado en una sola lista, en tal sentido los criterios serían: (i)(iii)(vii)(ix)
Síntesis histórica del bien
Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements anywhere and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. Recognized for outstanding cultural and natural values, the mixed World Heritage property covers 32,592 hectares of mountain slopes, peaks and valleys surrounding its heart, the spectacular archaeological monument of "La Ciudadela" (the Citadel) at more than 2,400 meters above sea level. Built in the fifteenth century Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. It was not until 1911 that the archaeological complex was made known to the outside world.
The approximately 200 structures making up this outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces. Following a rigorous plan the city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two. To this day, many of Machu Picchu's mysteries remain unresolved, including the exact role it may have played in the Incas' sophisticated understanding of astronomy and domestication of wild plant species.
The massive yet refined architecture of Machu Picchu blends exceptionally well with the stunning natural environment, with which it is intricately linked. Numerous subsidiary centres, an extensive road and trail system, irrigation canals and agricultural terraces bear witness to longstanding, often on-going human use. The rugged topography making some areas difficult to access has resulted in a mosaic of used areas and diverse natural habitats. The Eastern slopes of the tropical Andes with its enormous gradient from high altitude "Puna" grasslands and Polylepis thickets to montane cloud forests all the way down towards the tropical lowland forests are known to harbour a rich biodiversity and high endemism of global significance. Despite its small size the property contributes to conserving a very rich habitat and species diversity with remarkable endemic and relict flora and fauna.
Valor universal excepcional(VUE)
Criterio i: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The Inca City of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is the articulating centre of its surroundings, a masterpiece of art, urbanism, architecture and engineering of the Inca Civilization. The working of the mountain, at the foot of the Huaya Picchu, is the exceptional result of integration with its environment, the result from a gigantic effort as if it were an extension of nature.
Criterio iii: Convención del Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu is a unique testimony of the Inca Civilization and shows a well-planned distribution of functions within space, territory control, and social, productive, religious and administrative organization.
Criterio vii: Convención de Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
The historic monuments and features in the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu are embedded within a dramatic mountain landscape of exceptional scenic and geomorphological beauty thereby providing an outstanding example of a longstanding harmonious and aesthetically stunning relationship between human culture and nature.
Criterio ix: Convención de Patrimonio Mundial (1972)
Covering part of the transition between the High Andes and the Amazon Basin the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu shelters a remarkably diverse array of microclimates, habitats and species of flora and fauna with a high degree of endemism. The property is part of a larger area unanimously considered of global significance for biodiversity conservation.
The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu meets the conditions of integrity, as the natural and human-made attributes and values that sustain its Outstanding Universal value are mostly contained within its boundaries. The visual ensemble linking the main archaeological site of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu with its striking mountain environment remains mostly intact.
It is desirable to extend the property to encompass an even broader spectrum of human-land relationships, additional cultural sites, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, and a larger part of the Urubamba watershed would contribute to strengthening the overall integrity. In particular, the value for the conservation of the many rare and endemic species of flora and fauna would benefit from the inclusion or a stronger management consideration of the adjacent lands. A considerable number of well-documented threats render the property vulnerable to losing its future integrity and will require permanent management attention.
Upon the abandonment of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu at the beginning of the sixteenth century, vegetation growth and isolation ensured the conservation of the architectural attributes of the property. Although the design, materials and structures have suffered slight changes due to the decay of the fabric, the conditions of authenticity have not changed. The rediscovery in 1911, and subsequent archaeological excavations and conservation interventions have followed practices and international standards that have maintained the attributes of the property.
Último informe del Perú sobre el estado de conservación (2015)