Chichen Itza was one of the most important sacred sites of the Mayan civilization and well preserved until today in the Yucatan Peninsula

The archaeological site of Chichen Itza was a Mayan city of great importance in the pre-Columbian era between 525 and 1100 a.D. Its name in Maya means “mouth of the well of the Itzáes“. Chichen Itza is an example of the fusion of the Mexica, Mayan and Toltec cultures. The presence of sculptures and stone reliefs reveals the cult of the god Quetzalcoatl, whom the Mayans worshiped with the name of Kukulkan.

The structure of the city is divided into two groups, in the northern group there is the Castle or Temple of Kukulcán, the Temple of the Warriors, the Market, the Sacred Cenote, the steam bath, the Platform of Venus, the Platform of the Skulls, the Platform of the Jaguars and the Eagles and the Ball Game. In the central group there is the La Casa Colorada, the Tomb of the Great Priest, the House of the Nuns, the Snail or Observatory, the Church, the Akab Dzib and the Sculpted Boards are concentrated.

This majestic and impressive Mayan city is a testimony of the greatness of one of the most advanced ancient cultures. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 and is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

The Pyramid or Kukulkan Castle is the main building in the city of Chichen Itza

The Pyramid of Kukulkan represents the most important temple in the city, it is believed that it was built in honor of the sun god, Quetzalcoatl. It has also been proven that it was used as a solar calendar with which they could determine the best dates for such important things as planting, harvesting among many others. Each year the Kukulkan descent is celebrated, a natural phenomenon that occurs twice a year during the spring equinoxes (March 21) and autumn (September 21) where the sun creates a play of light and shadow on the steps of the pyramid that gives the impression of a serpent descending through them to culminate in the head of the snake that lies at the foot of it, a phenomenon worth seeing and admiring!

Pyramid of Kukulkan

The Temple of the Warriors surrounded by large columns

The Temple of the Warriors is an impressive construction surrounded by a large group of columns, consisting of four sections whose platforms reach 40 meters wide. The pyramid is in the central section behind the large columns and just at the top of the staircase is the sculpture of Chacmool, This temple resembles the B temple of the city of Tula, but on a much larger scale. This indicates the cultural contact between these two regions.

Temple of the Warriors

The spiral Observatory known as the Caracol

The Mayan culture is considered one of the most advanced ancient cultures. Its extensive mathematical and astrological knowledge is reflected in the Mayan calendar which is based on the Venus cycle of 584 days. The Spaniards named El Caracol to this spiral-shaped building and its function was believed to be for astrological studies since the openings in the walls were oriented towards Venus and other stars. Their studies were based on observation without having any type of device.

El Caracol, Observatory of Chichen Itza

The Ball Game in Chichen Itza

The Ball Game as well as for many Mesoamerican cultures had a ritual importance for the Mayan culture. There are three courts of the Ball Game in Chichen Itza, but this is the most impressive in Mesoamerica due to its size and well preserved. Its dimensions cover 160 meters long and 70 meters wide. The parallel platforms of the court have a length of 93 meters  and a height that reaches 8 meters and do not forget the two rings in the center of each platform that are carved with feathered serpents.

Chichen Itza Ball Game

The Sacred Cenote, place of rituals and sacrifices

The cenotes in the Yucatan are circular holes filled with fresh water that occur naturally and in ancient times provided water to the cities of this region. Chichen Itza had one that they referred to as the Sacred Cenote, whose dimensions were impressive with 60 meters in diameter and 23 meters deep. For the Mayans this cenote was a place of pilgrimage where religious rituals were carried out that included offerings of valuable objects including human sacrifices.

Sacred Cenote Chichen Itza

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