Discover another Mayan Wonder: “El Castillo” (the Castle) or better known as the Temple of Kukulkan in Chichen Itza. It is located a few hours’ drive on Federal 180 West from Playa Del Carmen. Though this site is not one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is an UNESCO World heritage site. It also has some noteworthy acoustic characteristics…For example, people at the top of structure can speak at a normal level and be heard at the bottom of the pyramid. It is just another interesting dynamic to the Mayan heritage of this land.
Temple of Kukulkan
The site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH). The land under the monuments had been privately-owned until March 29, 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán.
To give you a little history: “The Mexican government restored the pyramid in the 1920s and 1930s, concurrent with the Carnegie Institution’s restoration of the Temple of Warriors. Archaeologists were able to reconstruct two sides of the pyramid in their entirety. The Mexican government sponsored an excavation into El Castillo. They discovered a staircase under the north side of the pyramid. By digging from the top, they found another temple buried below the current one. Inside the temple chamber is a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of jaguar, painted red with spots made of inlaid jade. The Mexican government excavated a tunnel from the base of the north staircase, up the earlier pyramid’s stairway to the hidden temple, and opened it to tourists.
In recent years, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), which manages the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, have been closing monuments to public access. While visitors can walk around them, they can no longer climb them or go inside their chambers. Climbing El Castillo was stopped in 2006 after it was declared unsafe. At the same time INAH closed the public access to the throne room.
The overall structure has nine levels, which may be a parallel to the Maya cosmological view of there being nine levels in the Maya ‘Underworlds’. We are led to believe this because of the staircase in the center of the pyramid having 13 levels, the number of levels in the “upper worlds”. Today “El Castillo” is one of the most recognized and widely visited pre-Columbian structures in present-day Mexico”
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