Palenque Travel Blog› entry 6 of 21 › view all entries
After staying the night in Palenque, the next morning it was time to visit this Maya archeoligical site. We foudn out Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal or Copán which we visited later, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture and relief carvings the Maya produced. Still about 80% is still under the ground, but it is very expensive to dig it all up. Also because it is not so much visited as Chichen Itza.
An ancient name for the central core of the city currently consolidated was Lakam Ha, which translates as "Big Water", for the numerous springs and wide cascades that are found within the site. Palenque was the capital of the important Classic period Maya city-state of B'aakal ("Bone" in English).
Important structures at Palenque are the Palace, a complex of several connected and adjacent buildings and courtyards built up over several generations on a wide artificial terrace. The Palace houses many fine sculptures and relief carvings in addition to the distinctive four-story tower. The Temple of Inscriptions was begun perhaps as early as 675 as the funerary monument of K'inich Janaab' Pakal II. The temple superstructure houses the second longest glyphic text known from the Maya world (the longest is the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copan).
Palenque is a 'must' if you visiting the south of Mexico. Many travel agents and tourists are going to this impressive site of ancient history. I think you at least need 3 or 4 hours to see what is explored. In the last 15 or 20 years, a great deal more of the site has been excavated, but currently, archaeologists estimate that only 5% of the total city has been uncovered!
Later in the afternoon we went for San Cristóbal de las Casas. During our bus trip we went to Agua Azul in the afternoon. But the water was not Azul (Blue) but Brown, so we called it Agua Negro. That does not mean it was not beautiful to see it, especially the "violence" of the water. After a meal we arrived in San Cristóbal.