This is thee biggest and most impressive of the monuments in this ruins, and climbing to the the top is... imperative. We do it with small steps and, once there, we turn around and the world collapses!
"There are" no steps ahead of you, only a steep high ramp. While you think how to go back down, the pyramid bounces, in a strange sensation of movement, given by the clouds passing by. There is not much to see there, the views are wide but generally green, and it is time to descend.
A heavy chain runs down along the narrow steps that of course, are still there but looking much smaller than when they were almost at your eyes' level. Two options: Some of us used the feet a little across the small steps, and ran down in a controlled cadence; the other sat in the small steps, grabbing the chain, and dragged down step by step. No problems, but much more emotion than expected.
The majority of tourists usually finish their walk along the Archaeological Zone here. But if you aren’t tired take a walk further, cross rather wide-looking area and climb up the hill. I found out even at home that this hill has the name of the South Temple. Only a few tourists get there but they are rewarded by great views at the Archaeological Zone as the whole and at the plain of Yucatan stretches out to the horizon.
You can watch my 3 min 58 sec Video Mexico Uxmal part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You will also see a building called the Dovecote from the top of the Great Pyramid.
It has roof combs, which are unusual for Mayan temples.
I don’t know why its name connected with doves but when I descended from the Great Pyramid and came to the building I saw a bird-predator watching area and may be it was waiting for doves.
After having explored the Governor's Palace you should go to the lower-level plaza behind it. You will see the Great Pyramid.
This Pyramid is the only one where tourists are allowed to climb up. It's not very easy. But if you manage climb up you will see the Temple of the Macaws at its top and wonderful views at the Archeological Zone that you have already explored and several other ruined temples.
You will see the Jaguar Throne in the open plaza in front of the Governor's Palace. It is carved like a two-headed jaguar. It is considered that the Mayas associated them with their chiefs and kings.
You can watch my 4 min 23 sec Video Mexico Uxmal part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You will be able to see the three-level edifice with almost 100m long mosaic facade.
About 100 stone masks of Chac seem to slither across the facade like a serpent. They end at the corners, where there are columns of masks.
Through observation of the numerous consistent elements and stylistic distinctions, remnants of Maya architecture have become an important key to understanding the evolution of their ancient civilization.
The Governor's Palace is the most impressive building in Uxmal.
It is almost 100m long low building atop a huge platform built in the 9th and 10th centuries.
It has the longest façades in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.
The Spanish historian Fray Cogullado also gave this building its name.
This time the name was more accurate than in case of the Nunnery Quadrangle because the Governor's Palace may have been the administrative center of the Xiú principality, which included the region around Uxmal.
Some historians think that the Governor's Palace probably had also astrological.
In its size and intricate stonework, the Governor's Palace rivals the Magician's Pyramid as the masterpiece of Uxmal.
The most modest building in Uxmal is the Turtle House though much smaller and less elaborate than other structures.
It is a simple rectangular building on the terrace south of the Ball Court.
You will see small turtles in procession in the frieze around the top of building. That’s why it has such a name.
Almost all Aztec’s and Maya’s cities had courts which are considered to be used for playing in ball. I don’t quite understand what was like the Mesoamerican ballgame though our guide explained several times.
Nevertheless you will also see a large Ball Court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Uxmal.
An inscription there informs us that it was dedicated in 901 by the ruler Chan Chak K'ak'nal Ajaw, also known as Lord Chac before the decipherment of his corresponding name glyphs.
The buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle were constructed at different times.
The western building has the most richly decorated façade.
You will see featuring intertwined stone snakes and numerous masks of the hook-nosed rain god Chac.
The decoration is typical of the Maya style. Smooth low walls that open on ornate friezes based on representations of typical Maya huts, which are represented by columns (representing the reeds with which were built the walls of the huts.
I think nobody knows what was the name of this building in Mayan times.
It was a government palace - a nickname which was given to it by the Spanish when they saw it first.
But later the Spanish historian Fray Diego López de Cogullado gave a name of the Nunnery Quadrangle in the 16th-century because it reminded him of a Spanish convent.
Since then the finest of Uxmal's several fine quadrangles of long buildings with elaborately carved façades on both the inside and outside faces have the name of the Nunnery Quadrangle.
Another version that it may have been a military academy or a training school for Mayan princes. There are more than 70 rooms. The rooms have no interior decoration.
The Pyramid of the Magician is also unique among other Mayan structures in Yucatan because its limestone core was originally covered with smooth plaster and painted red with accents in blue, yellow and black.
As it was common for the Mayas to build new structures on top of old ones at regular intervals the archaeologists found five earlier structures beneath the Magician's Pyramid.
You will see the rich decoration on the doorway of "Temple 4," near the top. There are wonderful 12 stylized masks. We have been told that they represent the rain god Chac.
But there is an opinion they are actually "iconographic mountains.
The structure at the very top named Temple 5 dates from about 1000 AD.
You can watch my photo of Uxmal on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 20° 21' 38.38" N 89° 46' 12.68" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Magician's Pyramid decoration .
The Pyramid of the Magician, with its five levels, is one of the most impressive and beautiful Maya pyramids in Yucatan. At 35 m the massive Magician's Pyramid is the tallest structure at Uxmal.
The Pyramid of the Magician (or The Adivino or the Pyramid of the Dwarf), is a stepped pyramid structure, unusual among Maya structures in that its layers' outlines are oval or elliptical in shape. We know that the more common shape is rectilinear plan.
You will see this Pyramid just at once when enter the Uxmal Archeological Zone.
I was so impressed by Uxmal (the site, the ruins, the preserved nature around them...) that I only had a quick look at the objects displayed in the visitor center.
My fault, justifying the warning - don't imitate me, and try to see with attention the small objects collected from the ruins.
Pyramid of the Magician is a pyramid in the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.
It includes a rounded triangular pyramid 40 meters high. On the east side is a building with a porch with a large mask.
It is one of the four palaces of the Bird Binnenhof.