The Ruins of Uxmal
Uxmal Travel Blog› entry 11 of 15 › view all entries
October 26th, 2009 – by: lrecht
A short drive later and we arrived at the Uxmal Ruins which date back to 9th or 10th century and are considered one of the highlights of Puuc architecture. Puuc means “hilly country” in Mayan and the architecture is really ornate with very elaborate stone carvings all over the multi-tiered buildings. They definitely are quite different than Chichen Itza or Tulum and well worth the visit.
The grounds are pretty vast and you start by walking to Pirámide del Adivino or the "Magician’s Pyramid" which at over one hundred feet is the tallest building at Uxmal.
We kind of wandered around haphazardly and came upon the Cuadranglo de los Monjas or the "Nunnery Quadrangle" which was supposed to have been a military academy or a training school for Mayan princes.
The Palacio del Gobernador or the "Governor’s Palace" was our next stop. Climbing up a small hill you come across a flat plain with a massive, three tiered building over three hundred feet long and again, richly adorned with geometric carvings. They think the building was administrative but may have some kind of astrological significance to the region as well. We walked around the perimeter of the building and then down to the small but cool Casa de las Tortugas or "House of the Turtles" which is a simple rectangular building on the same raised terrace.
Scrambling down the hill from there you can visit the Grande Piramide or "Great Pyramid" on a lower-level plaza which is over 260 feet on each side. The top of the pyramid has the Temple of the Macaws, three other ruined temples, and some spectacular views of the rest of the site (admittedly after a treacherous and heart pounding climb up some very dicey steps). A nice breeze blasts across the top of the Pyramid cooling you down after the steep climb and we had the good fortune to spy the emerald green lizard in the picture below which we took as a sign of good luck.
After admiring the view and catching our breath, we decided we had seen enough ruins to last the rest of the vacation so carefully scrambled down and headed off on the road to Campeche.
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