About Chichén Itzá

Sacred city of the Maya Empire, the city of Chichen Itzá was dedicated to the god of water and fertility. Of complex architectural and social structure, Chichen Itzá was also a boisterous cultural and commercial center constructed between 435 and 455 A.C. However, it wasnÂ't until 750 to 1,200 of our era when it consolidated as the regionÂ's economic, political and cultural center.


Despite the fact that formal archeology work just started in 1998, a great amount of information and objects have been attained, allowing a better reconstruction of this advanced civilizationÂ's history. Numerous buildings are among the remains of Chichen Itzá and each is a monumental art work, for the etchings found in its facades or the exact representation of their great astronomy progress, for example, one of the most impressive shows every visitor has experienced is the game of light and shadows during the spring and autumn equinoxes displayed on the Pyramid of Kukulcán, making a serpent appear (representation of the god), sliding along its stairway; or the terraces and steps of the Palace, adding to the 18 months and 365 days of the Maya calendar.


Other important buildings located in this magical city are the Observatory, circular construction with snail-like stairs; the ritual of the Ball Game was also practiced here, in the eight traditional T-shaped fields, however, it is outstanding that one of them is the largest ever found in the whole empire, 168 meters long. Also found here is the Group of the Thousand Columns, the Chac-Mool Temple and the Skull Platform.


The Â"“city on the border of the Itzaes wellÂ"” exercised great military and economic power over the rest of the Mayan cities, in part supported for possessing the Sacred Cenote, gate of entry to the Maya underworld where jewels and beautiful virgin girls were offered to the venerated god of rain, god Chaac.


Voted one of the seven new wonders of the world in 2006, this archeological center receives millions of visitors each year and is one of MexicoÂ's great attractions. Located 120 kilometers from the capital of Yucatan, the city of Merida, Chichen is reached by highway 180 to Cancun.

 

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