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The Concha House: The Mystery of Machu Picchu
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What are the mysteries of the Casa Concha Museum?

The history of Machu Picchu is wrapped in a great mystery. The Incas never had a writing system, so there is no record of the history of the ancient Inca city, which was abandoned around 1540. Today, many of the mysteries are solved in the Museo de la Casa Concha de Cusco

What are the main mysteries that Machu Picchu hides?

  • With the scientific discovery of Machu Picchu by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1901 began work to discover the history and mysteries that the Inca City hides.
  • For example, there is still no final answer on how Machu Picchu was suddenly abandoned. Or how was the life of Machu Picchu during the incanato.
  • Many of the answers to these questions are in the Concha House Museum since there are the objects found in the Inca City during the excavations.

How was Machu Picchu built?

  • Machu Picchu is built of amazingly assembled granite rocks.
  • Its terraces were built so that mountainous terrain could be cultivated and to make the most of the water.
  • There is an irrigation and drainage system under Machu Picchu, which occupies about 60% of the total buildings in the Inca city.
  • The walls of Machu Picchu are built with a slight inclination to better support seismic movements. Thus, in 1950, when a devastating earthquake hit Cusco, the Inca city was intact.
The mystery of Machu Picchu
The mysterious Inca city of Machu Pichu

Machu Picchu is built in the style of Minecraft or Lego, with blocks fitted perfectly and without any glue that holds them together. The techniques used are still a mystery. The objects unearthed there are found in the Museum of the Concha House in Cusco.

What was life like in Machu Picchu?

  • The Casa Concha museum offers an excellent view of life in the Inca city of Machu Picchu. The archaeological investigations concluded thanks to this that the Inca city was built in 1450 and occupied until 1540.
  • Skeleton findings do not reveal signs of hard work or violence. Thus, life in the Inca city must have been quiet. There were people dedicated to agriculture, cooking, cleaning and crafts. Instead, the nobility devoted time to religious worship.

Why was Machu Picchu abandoned?

  • There are many hypotheses about why the Inca city of Machu Picchu was abandoned.
  • One of the theories indicates that Machu Picchu was devastated by a disease from the old world with the Spanish invasion.
  • Another of the theories suggests that Machu Picchu was depopulated after the uprising of Manco Inca and the rebel Incas of Vilcabamba.
  • In 1911 when Hiram Bingham arrived in Machu Picchu he found two families living in the Inca City. However, much of the Inca constructions were covered by the rugged vegetation.

Is Machu Picchu the ‘Lost City of the Incas’?

  • The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is the nickname that Hiram Bingham mistakenly gave Machu Picchu since what he truly believed he found was Vilcabamba, the last refuge of the rebel Incas.
  • Today, however, Machu Picchu is popularly known as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. He was nominated thus to attract the attention of tourists. Although the Inca city was never lost. The locals always knew I was there.
  • In 1911 Machu Picchu was made known to the world and more than 4,000 artifacts were taken from it that were taken to Yale University in the United States.

What were the objects found in Machu Picchu?

It took Yale University about 100 years to return the objects found in Machu Picchu during the excavations. Today, although there are still some objects in the Yale museum, most of them can be visited in the Museum of the Concha House in Cusco.

The fascinating exhibition of the Casa Concha Museum

  • The thematic rooms of the Casa Concha museum are placed around a central courtyard surrounded by arches. It includes the objects returned by Yale University during the excavations of the Inca City in 1911 (Hiram Bingham collection).
  • It also includes interactive exhibitions and videos that try to explain the mysteries of Machu Picchu. It also offers some objects found in the ancient palace of the Inca Túpac Yupanqui (Collection of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco).
  • Finally, the museum includes a tour of the famous mansion where the museum is located: its balconies, murals and the colonial architecture of its walls (Casa Concha Collection).
Exterior view of the Casa Concha museum
Exterior view of the Casa Concha museum

Interactive exhibition of the Casa Concha Museum

  • The Concha House Museum also includes a virtual booth to virtually explore the ruins of Machu Picchu.
  • During the virtual exhibition it is possible to zoom in the areas of greatest interest as well as perform a 360 degree inspection.
  • In the virtual exhibition the tourist can appreciate the most famous structures of Machu Picchu: the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the 3 Windows, the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Condor, the Intipunku, etc.
Exhibition of the Casa Concha museum
Exhibition of the Casa Concha museum

How to visit the Museum of the Concha House of Cusco?

  • The Concha House Museum is located at 320 Santa Catalina Ancha street in the Historic Center of Cusco. The opening hours are from Monday to Saturday from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon.
  • To visit the Casa Concha Museum you must buy a ticket at the entrance door of the museum. The price for foreigners is 20 Peruvian soles (6 USD). Students pay 10 Peruvian soles (3 USD).
  • The Concha House Museum is not included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket.

Advice from people who have been there

Museum of Machu Picchu of the Concha House

Lara PBy: Lara P

“Great introduction to the visit to Machu Picchu“

“A great introduction to what you will see in Machu Picchu, it contains photographs and many archaeological pieces belonging to the ancient Inca city. I recommend visiting Casa Concha before traveling to Machu Picchu.“


By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, December 17, 2019