The Chichen Itza Mayan ruins are an important visitor attraction. Chichen Itza is a big archaeological site. This site was originally created by the Mayans, and it's located just about 70 miles away from the capital city of Yucatan, Mexico. The Chichen Itza Mayan ruins are a fascinating site, which draws in lots of visitors yearly but there is a lot that people tend not to realize about the place.
The actual name "Chichen Itza" is a Mayan name which means, "on the mouth of the well of Itza." The term Chichen is derived from the words "Chi" which directly translates as mouth or edge plus "ch'e'en" which means "well." Itza likely generally translates as wizards or enchantment or magician of the water.
Origins of this Site
This site is split into two key areas. One part comes from the older classic Mayan era and this was created through the 7th to 10th centuries. The other part incorporates characteristics belonging to the Mayan-Toltec era, constructed in the 11-13th centuries. The site is currently the most significant of all Mayan ruins in Yucatan.
What You can See
This site was just recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the World so there is a lot to see there. El Castillo or the Temple of Kukulkan is among the key attractions of Chichen Itza. Situated on the primary platform, the El Castillo is actually a stunning step pyramid that is close to 30 meters tall! During the afternoon during the spring and autumn equinox, the direct sunlight cast on the corner of the pyramid creates a number of triangle-shaped shadows, that all combine to create the form of a serpent going down the pyramid. This was a deliberate pattern created by the Mayans to signify the serpent god Kukulkan.
Yet another prominent attraction is the Great Ball Court. Measuring in at 545 feet by 223 feet, the Great Ball Court found at Chichen Itza is the largest sized ball court coming from the Mesoamerica era. The court was used in its period to play Mesoamerican games. There is a temple area found at both ends of the ball court. One of the temples is called the Temple of the Bearded Man and the other one is referred to as the Temple of the Jaguar.
The cenote sagrado or "sacred well" is definitely an unusual feature of Chichen Itza. The Mayans utilized the cenote in order to make both human and object sacrifices to the Mayan rain god Chaac.
Some other intriguing features are the El Mercado, or the market place, Temple of the Warriors, El Caracol, which is the observatory, Tzompantli or Wall of Skulls and La Iglesia or The Church.
There is so much to discover and do at the Chichen Itza Mayan ruins you'll want to ensure that you know what you want to see just before you go to make sure that you can make the most of your time.
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