Posts Tagged ‘Yucatan’

El Castillo

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

El Castillo

El Castillo

El Castillo is a large step pyramid that is the centerpiece of the Chichen Itza Mayan archeological site on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Built by the Mayans Between 1000 AD and 1300 AD, it was a temple to the Mayan god Kukulcan.

The pyramid is a step terrace design with stairways up each of the 4 sides. Plumed serpent scultures parallel the north stairway.

On 3 sides their are 91 steps in the stairway and the north stairway has 92 stairs. Added together they equal 365, one step for each day in a year. The pyramid was restored in the 1920’s and 1930’s by the Mexican government. The present pyramid has an older one inside. In the older pyramid was found a jaguar jade inlay throne and a Chac Mool statue. A tunnel was dug in the northern stairway to reach the hidden pyramid.

As of 2006 you can no longer climb the pyramid or visit the throne room after an 80 year old woman fell to her death on the stairs.

IThe pramid is 24 meters high and the base is 55.3 meterrs in diameter. There are nine levels to the pyramid. The Mayans believed that there are nine level to their underworld. The hidden pyramid has 13 levels which is the number of levels in the upper worlds or heaven according to Mayan beliefs.

A trip to the Yucatan peninsula is not complete without a journey to Chichen Itza. This year interest is renewed in Mayan culture with a new sci_fi  movie that the Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012.

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resources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Castillo,_Chichen_Itza