Chichen Itza, Maya ruïnes complex
Chichen Itza Travel Blog› entry 3 of 21 › view all entries
An absolute must in our journey was the visit of the old Maya town of Chichén Itzá, which means 'at the mouth of the well of the Itza'. It is on the world inheretance list of UNESCO, and in 2007 considered as one of the 7 world wonders of the world. The city dates probably of 987 and was from great importance in the late Maya-empire. In lies in the North of Yucatan. The city is founded by emperor Topiltzin, alltough the latest axcavations probably say that this complex is older and perhaps is conquered by this emperor in 987. Anyway, you need a couple of hours to see everything of this complex.
First we went to the North Platform to visit the Piramid of Kukulkan, also called 'El Castillo'. This is the highlight of the complex, a step piramid with a plan of square terraces with stairways up each of the 4 sites to the temple of the top.
Also a must is the great ball court just in front of the piramid. This court is used for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame. This is the largest ball game court in ancient Mesoamerica. At the base of the high interior walls are slanted benches with sculpted panels of teams of ball players. In one panel, one of the players has been decapitated and from the wound emits seven streams of blood; six become wriggling serpents and the center becomes a winding plant. Still they don't know for sure if the winner was decapitated (if it was an honour to be offered for the Gods) or the looser.
The Temple of the Warriors complex consists of a large stepped pyramid fronted and flanked by rows of carved columns depicting warriors. This complex indicates some form of cultural contact between the two regions. This one at Chichen Itza, however, was constructed on a larger scale. At the top of the stairway on the pyramid’s summit and leading towards the entrance of the pyramid’s temple is a Chac Mool. I took a picture from it at the top of the Piramid of Kukulkan.
In the Central Group on this complex there is round building on a large square platform nicknamed El Caracol or "the snail" for the stone spiral staircase inside.
Chichen Itza is a must, even if you stay for a beach holiday in Cancun. It is possible to visit it as a day trip from Cancun, and I don't think that will be a dissappointment.
We visited this complex to whole afternoon. Then we moved on to Merida.