Friday, March 25, 2011

Chichen Itza Mexico

About 90 miles east of Merida, the site of Chichen Itza, one of the largest and best preserved ruins in Yucatan. She is also the most visited archaeological site and a well restored. Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, one can explore the ruins on a good day, many buses run from there on day trips for a Chichen Itza. About the Autopista driving from Cancun for about 2 hours.

Chichen Itza was declared in 1988 a World Heritage Site, and there are probably more than any other Mayan site, which was restored as well, and from which it is so much to see for the visitor is like this. That will however accept a variety of tourists, so that it can clock from 10 am to be very full.

Among the major tourist attractions, among many other va the great pyramid of Kukulkan, the Observatory, the Juego de Pelota, the Temple of the Warriors, the Convento de las Monjas and El Grupo de las Mil Columns.

Probably the most famous building Chichen Itza's is the 24 meter high pyramid of Kukulkan. Two of the four sites were restored (west and north side). It forms a mixture of Mayan and Toltekenkultur and provides a calendar with four staircases, each with 91 steps dar. 4 x 91 steps is 364 steps, plus a final stage (platform) is 365 steps. This corresponds to the days of the year. This is not the only evidence that this building was dedicated to astrological purposes:
Twice a year, the solstice of the 21st March and 21 September (Aquiniktium = day-and-night-same), gather here many thousands of people to witness a spectacle to late afternoon, the shadow of a snake appears on the pyramid of Kukulkan, which seems herunterzukriechen the staircase and its huge head on lowest level of the pyramid sets. This spectacle has been calculated by the builders so well that.

On the right side of the north staircase, you can enter the interior of the pyramid and climb a narrow staircase to the top. Caution, the stairs are due to lack of ventilation and the many tourists very slippery, also the air is very stuffy. Once at the top, the visitor a sealed chamber that is illuminated and houses two statues. One of them symbolizes the God Chaac-mole in its typical of this region, semi-reclining position with a sacrificial plate on the abdomen (similar to the Temple of the Warriors).

Ball Court

Overall, in Chichen Itza found 9 ball courts. Of the well over 520 BallschpielplAtzen found on the Yucatan is this ball court (juego de pelota) the largest and most important dar.

It is located about 100 meters northwest of the pyramid of Kukulkan. The dimensions of the playing field be 168 x 38 feet, separated by 8 feet high walls on the sides, including the intended for the audience were.On each page is located at a height of about 7 meters depending on a snake-decorated ring through which the ball had to be beaten. This consisted of rubber and weighed as much as getting our medicine balls. You still puzzled as to whether the ball was inside a skull.The motives of the two rings (cross-basket) to draw conclusions on the game (paddle) to, after which it is probable that the captain of the losing team was sacrificed (the captain of the winning team holding a knife in one hand and the bleeding head of the victim in the other hand). Each team had 5-7 players, sometimes also unevenly distributed. In addition, the players had protectors on arms and legs, because the ball could be played with this and do not touch the ground.

Particular attention should, however, the acoustics of the ball court to be paid. Today it is no longer to enjoy to the fullest, because the interesting sites are blocked. If you imagine each head into the central building, one can talk in peace, although the other nearly 200 meters wide (others have this conversation with barely). But what still works is that one anywhere on the court clapping their hands and get a fireworks display of echo. If one considers that the Maya architects have not left to chance, so this is an impressive achievement.

About 400 meters straight to the north of the pyramid of Kukulkan is the impressive Cenote Sagrado (holy well). From him Chichen Itza takes its name (well of the Itza). The cenote was covered initially safe, but collapsed after some time. It measures today approximately 55 feet in diameter and about 50 meters in depth (up to the surface it is only about 20 meters). The green color of the water produced due to the many algae.

We now know that in this cenote many sacrifices were made. The ArchA?loge Edward H. Thompson was the first to examine the cenote, and found many offerings, including gold, jade and various ceramics. Also up to 50 Sklette were found here. Thomson, who was also consul did, but things out of the country, so he was eventually expelled from the country. By 1960, the most important investigations were made to the cenote, which brought many thousands of artefacts evident. The importance of this well exceeds that of any other in Yucatan.

Sculpted pillars

East side, building 3D7: These facades were originally part of standing in front of buildings. Here they were found and restored in parts to get an idea of the former extent to provide the decoration.

Temple of the Warriors

The Temple of the Warriors (Templo de los Guerreros) is northeast of the pyramid of Kukulkan, at the northern end of the group of the 1,000 pillars. It is one of the finest examples of Maya-Toltec architecture. He was inspired by the morning star temple of Tula, where he designed much more impressive and stylish than in Tula.A staircase gets you (now unfortunately closed to tourists) on the upper deck to look at the God Chaac-mole in a semi-recumbent attitude. However, this figure was the name given by French archaeologists Le Plongeon mistake, because it is not this is the rain god Chaac.

At the underen walls of the pyramid and some columns are decorated with relief masks that represent the Warriors and Eagles, as they devour human hearts. The entrance of the temple is located on the upper platform, and it is marked by two snake pillar. They come from the Toltec style. The trunk of the rain god nose Chaac however, as they are in the temple walls come from, the Mayan influence.

The north side of the warrior temple has a staircase leading into the interior of the temple. However, it is blocked, and so can not recognize the now barely recognizable murals.

Steam Bath

This created between 900-1200 AD, is one of the few buildings in Chichen Itza, there is no doubt about its original meaning. Of the three areas, the following two are described: the first is a kind of waiting room, is the second it is the actual steam room. Here the hot stones were splashed with water so as to generate the steam. The baths were used for cleaning during religious occasions, but also to health as one of the oldest traditions of the people in Latin America.

Northeastern colonnade This building was originally part of the whole colonnade. Striking are the pillars that had supported the roof and an altar, decorated with ritual scenes. The plates above and in front of the altar show richly decorated people. A stone bench encircles the building from the inside. Side of the northern end is a floor that has likely served as a water supply, as a kind of Canal to the place of a Thousand Columns. Its facade was originally with masks, snakes, and mythical figures decorated
Chichen Itza
The market

This is one of the best examples of Hofgallerien in Chichen Itza, developed in the years between 900-1200 AD. Here are the architects of the Maya-Toltec style have made ??considerable progress by having built more intermediate levels and higher columns, as usual. Although the original meaning of the complex can not be determined with absolute certainty, is certain that it was directly connected to the forecourt, with which it is connected via a wide staircase. It has a wide front gallery with a total of three entrances to the area and a stairway access to the inside of the court. In the vicinity of this access is an altar with personifications. Around the courtyard are built around very high columns, which originally supported the ceiling, but over time collapsed and verfiehl.

Venus Platform

Venus platform is very similar to that which stands on the place of the pyramid of Kukulkan. On all four sides of a staircase leads up to Palttform, and is right next to the stairs and one snake's head forward. He represents Quetzalcoatl - Kukulkan as a morning star.The Plattforrm was originally painted in color, in green, red, ocher, blue and black. In the Osttreppe an offering of a man was found.

Jaguar Temple

The Jaguar Temple is located on the right before the inlet to the ball court. Today, unfortunately, the staircase is blocked, the left leads up around the temple.At the foot - on the side of the square with the pyramid of Kukulkan - is the lower part of the Jaguar Temple. He shows very nice and well-preserved wall reliefs with hieroglyphics inside of the stem and on the columns.


This building (El Caracol) is also known as an observatory, due to its shape and because of some possible astral associations. Astronomical conditions in relation to the planet Venus as well as in relation to the sun during the day and night the same (equinox) have a unique connection to the three windows at the top of the observatory. The Mayans were so right in the stargazing that they, for example, over 59 years, the Great Conjunction to the day could be predicted.The name Caracol (snail) is due to the spiral staircase that leads to the top of the building.One study, the observatory by the Carnegie Institute from 1925-31, where they found a series of 6 over the other built constructions. It is estimated that the construction from the period between the end of the Classical and early Post Classic (850-1000 AD). Is.

Graves platform

This platform may have been used for burials, which gave her the name. The archaeologist Edward H. Thompson, who led the excavations here in 1899, found in each of the two grave chambers Sklette. Recent studies have nevertheless considered that the Sklette came into it here at later times, the building then had a different purpose. Noticeable in the architecture are the pillars that stand out from the platform and probably a thought over the centuries, not durable roof.

The Red House

The name of this building (it is also called Chichanchoob) comes from the red-painted fragments that were found inside. It stands on an unusually high platform, is a hall and three chambers. In the main chamber are sculptured hieroglyphics.The facade is smooth, and the two roof ridges suggest Puuc style, the building can be dated to the late classical period.It is because of the nearby ball court assumes that the building had either a religious or public purpose.

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