Ruinas Chichén-Itzá Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Ruinas Chichén-Itzá

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    El Mercado - Market

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 17, 2013

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    The Market (or El Mercado in Spanish) is a seventy six meter-long raised portico filled with alternating square and rounded columns stretching east and west.
    Its center is a square building with tall, rounded columns that would have originally supported a roof of wood or thatch.
    The Market was named as such by the early Spanish colonists who were exploring the site.
    In reality, however, this building likely functioned as a council hall or place for religious ceremonies.
    You will also see the Temple of the Carved Columns.

    El Mercado - Market El Mercado - Market El Mercado - Market El Mercado - Market El Mercado - Market
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    Group of the Thousand Columns

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 17, 2013

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    The Group of the Thousand Columns (or Grupo de las Mil Columnas in Spanish) adjoins the Temple of the Warriors on its south side.
    We have been told that the original purpose of which remains something of a mystery. It may have served as an indoor market or place of assembly.
    Nearby you will see:
    1) the small ball court (Juego de Pelota),
    2) the so-called Mercado (Market)
    3) the steam bath (Temazcalli).

    You can watch my 2 min 22 sec Video Mexico Chichen-Itza part 3 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    Group of the Thousand Columns Group of the Thousand Columns Group of the Thousand Columns Group of the Thousand Columns Group of the Thousand Columns
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    House of the Deer

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 17, 2013

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    The House of the Hunt (another name – Temple of the Hunt) is located in a small plaza south of the Osario.
    This plaza also holds the Red House and the House of the Metates. The House of the Deer was built on a platform with rounded corners and an undecorated facade, similar to the Red House and House of the Metates. This building is called the House of the Deer because an interior wall painting of a deer was discovered upon its initial excavation; this has unfortunately faded with time.

    You can watch my photo of Chichen-Itza on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 40' 49.30" N 88° 34' 19.17" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Temple of the Deer.

    House of the Deer House of the Deer House of the Deer House of the Deer
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    Southern sector with Akab D'zib

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 17, 2013

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    The southern sector is located behind the Nunnery and the Church.
    This sector includes:
    1) the Temple of the Panels (Templo de los Tableros) with reliefs of Toltec warriors and jaguars;
    2) the Akab D'zib (Mayan: "obscure writing"; Building of the Unknown Writing), so named because of the as yet undeciphered characters above the door of the second room;
    3) the Temple of the Window Lintel (Templo de los Dinteles);
    4) the Red House (Casa Colorada or Chichan-chob), predominantly in the Puuc style;
    5) the so-called "Dates Group" (Grupo de las Fechas), with a phallic temple, mainly Toltec in style;
    6) another ball court (Juego de Pelota);
    7) the Cenote Xtoloc, almost certainly a reservoir.
    Frankly speaking I didn’t see them all.
    You can watch my photo of Chichen-Itza on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 40' 41.92" N 88° 34' 11.22" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio House of the Dark Writing.

    Southern sector Southern sector Southern sector Southern sector Southern sector
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    Nunnery Annex

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Apr 16, 2013

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    The Nunnery Annex is the most beautifully ornately-decorated building within the Central Group.
    It is located close to the Nunnery building itself and to the Church.
    It is topped by a roof comb with lattice motifs featuring Chaak masks.
    Though it has recently been postulated that these curl-nosed images are actually intended to represent the Witz, or spirits-within-mountains; regardless, both divinities are important in the invocation of rain.
    The front façade of the Nunnery Annex is carved in the shape of a giant Witz mask, replete with the door as a mouth.

    Nunnery Annex Nunnery Annex Nunnery Annex Nunnery Annex
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    Red House - Casa Colorada

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Apr 16, 2013

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    The Red House (or Casa Colorada in Spanish) stands atop its platform. Its another name is the Chichan Chob.
    The building got its modern-day nickname because, at the time of its discovery, it still displayed vestiges of red paint because of its white stone turned golden by the setting sun.

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    Las Monjas - Nunnery

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 16, 2013

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    The Nunnery, so-called by the Spanish Las Monjas as they felt it resembled the convents of Spain. Now it is thought to have been used for governmental purposes. It features carved stone latticework and Chaak masks decorating the upper facades and corners of buildings.
    This building is one of the oldest major constructions at Chichen Itza, with at least two major construction periods dating to as early as 600 CE. It continued to see use and remodeling well after that time, as the older rooms were filled with rubble to give additional support to the new buildings above them.

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    Iglesia - Church

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 16, 2013

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    The building known in Spanish as the Iglesia ("Church") is located just off the northeastern corner of the large Las Monjas complex.
    Though it is a small building, but it is famous by its impressively ornate structure. The upper friezes of the Church still display the deity masks that have been identified by different scholars as belonging to either the rain deity Chaak or to the creator deity Itzamnaaj.
    The facades are decorated with geometric patterns and animals as well as Chac masks. In this instance a crab, an armadillo, a snail and a tortoise, the creatures which in Mayan mythology support the heavens, can be seen between the masks.

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    El Caracol - Observatory

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 16, 2013

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    Caracol – Observatory is one of the most well-known and unique structures at pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Mexico.
    El Caracol, which means 'snail' in Spanish, is so named due to the spiral staircase inside the tower.
    It is believed that the El Caracol was an ancient Mayan observatory building and provided a way for the Mayan people to observe changes in the sky due to the flattened landscape of the Yucatan with no natural markers for this function around Chichen Itza.
    While round structures have been associated with the cult of Quetzalcoatl (the Plumed Serpent) in Central Mexico, the Caracol was used as an observatory for sighting significant alignments of celestial bodies.

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    Central Group

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 16, 2013

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    The Central group consists of “the Caracol – Observatory”, “the Nunnery”, “the Church”, “the Akab D'zib” and “the Temple of the Panels”.
    The Caracol (Spanish word for "snail") sits atop its own platform around which other buildings once stood (see the remains of the structure to the lower right of the platform).
    Las Monjas is one of the more notable structures at Chichen Itza. It is a complex of Terminal Classic buildings constructed in the Puuc architectural style. The Spanish named this complex Las Monjas ("The Nuns" or "The Nunnery") but it was actually a governmental palace. Just to the east is a small temple (known as the La Iglesia, "The Church") decorated with elaborate masks.
    The Las Monjas group is distinguished by its concentration of hieroglyphic texts dating to the Late to Terminal Classic.

    Central Group
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    Tomb of the High Priests

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 15, 2013

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    The southern group of buildings is known as Old Chichén (Chichén Viejo). On the other side, to the right of the path, rises the Tomb of the High Priest (Tumba del Gran Sacerdote), a ruined pyramid 10 m high. When excavated the structure was found to contain seven tombs and some valuable artifacts.

    You can watch my 2 min 54 sec Video Mexico Chichen-Itza part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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    Platform of the Eagles

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 15, 2013

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    The Platform of the Eagles (Casa de los Aguilas in Spanish) is located between the Castillo and the Great Ball Court.
    It is a low platform with a talud-tablero (slope-panel) base. Serpent heads protrude from the cornice just under the top of the platform. There was never a permanent structure built atop the Platform of the Eagles and it was likely used for public address or performances of some sort, such as dance or sacrifice.

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    Temple of the Bearded Man

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 15, 2013

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    The Temple of the Bearded Man is located at the northern end of the Great Ball Court. This three-tiered temple opens into a sanctuary at the top flanked by two large round columns.
    Its name is taken from a bas-relief of bearded lords inside its sanctuary; depictions of beards in Maya art are very uncommon overall except at Chichen Itza. Other bas-reliefs depict trees, birds, flowers and Maya deities.
    Due to the unusual acoustics of the Great Ball Court, a person standing in the Temple of the Bearded Men can easily hear a person speaking at a normal volume level at the Court's opposite end.

    Temple of the Bearded Man
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    Great Ball Court

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 15, 2013

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    Archaeologists have identified thirteen ball courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza, but the Great Ball Court located to the north-west of the Castillo is by far the most impressive.
    It is the largest and best preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. It measures 170 by 70 metres. The parallel platforms flanking the main playing area are each 95 metres long. The walls of these platforms stand 8 metres high; set high up in the centre of each of these walls are rings carved with intertwined feathered serpents.
    Also, the stone rings (through which, some think, the ball would have been made to pass) are about six meters up on the vertical walls, which would have put them completely beyond the players' reach.

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    Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Apr 15, 2013

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    North of El Castillo lies the so-called Tomb of Chac-mool (or Tumba del Chac-mool in Spanish). The structure is also known as the Venus Platform, having interesting reliefs featuring both Kukulkán's symbol and that of the Morning Star.
    The French explorer Le Plongeon found a stone figure here, more than 100 years ago, which he called Chac-Mool. It is a low platform with a talud-tablero (slope-panel) base; there was never a permanent structure built atop it and it was likely used for public address or performances of some sort, such as dance or sacrifice.

    Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform Tomb of the Chac-mool or Venus Platform
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