They were suspended tourist visits to some sights of the ancient Inca citadel at Machu Picchudue to soil erosion that threatens the stone-built monuments, the Ministry of Culture of Peru announced yesterday Thursday.

The Temple of the Condor, the Temple of the Sun and the Induwatana – a carved stone used for astronomical observations – are “temporarily closed to visitors”said Maritsa Cadia, representative of the Ministry of Culture in Cusco.

The large number of visitors causes deterioration of the stone monuments at these three iconic sites of the acropolis, hence the need to close them for maintenance. “Deterioration is irreversible,” he explained and emphasized that “we have to protect our heritage”.

The citadel of Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist attraction in Peru and receives 3,800 visitors daily average.

Built in the 15th century by Emperor Pachakutek, at an altitude of 2,500 m., it is considered the most representative sample of the Inca culture.

In 1983 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.