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Free images of  Chichén Itzá - Maya Ruins

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Located in the eastern portion of the Yucatán State of Mexico, you will find probably the most well-known Mayan site in Mexico. Chichén Itzá is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name comes from “chi” meaning “mouth”, “ch’en” meaning “well”, “Itza” referring to an ethnic Guatemalan Maya group - meaning "at the mouth of the well of Itzá".

The Kukulkan Pyramid at Chichén Itzá is one of the new seven wonders of the world (2007). This particular site demonstrates a number of architectural styles thought to be the result of cultural diffusion and covers a core area of about 5 square km.

 

Chichén Itzá - El Castillo - Kukulcán Pyramid Mexico

Chichén Itzá - El Castillo - Kukulcán Pyramid - 1
Notice that only one side of the Pyramid had been restored (2006).

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The most famous structure at the Chichén Itzá site is the Temple of Kukulcán.  It is usually called El Castillo, meaning "the castle".  Referred interchangeably as a "temple" or "pyramid", El Castillo is made up of nine square terraces reaching 98 feet in height.  There is a 20 foot temple at the top of the structure.

As with most architecture of the time, El Castillo was built atop an older temple.  It was inside this older temple that the Cah Mool statue was found along with a red Jaguar-shaped throne inlaid with jade.

It is the undulating serpent effect that occurs during the late afternoon of the vernal (March 20) and autumnal (September 21) equinoxes that have been the subject of much consideration.  A series of seven isosceles triangular shadows are cast creating the appearance of a serpent about 37 yards long wriggling down the staircase until it joins the serpent's stone carved head at the bottom.  It is believed that the Maya designed the pyramid in this fashion to represent the feathered-serpent god Kukulcán. Kukul means "feathered" and kan means "serpent".  Researchers have called it "the symbolic descent of Kukulcán" and believe it is connected with agricultural rituals.

 

 Chichén Itzá - El Castillo - Kukulcán Pyramid Mexico

Chichén Itzá - El Castillo - Kukulcán Pyramid - 2

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Head of feathered serpent at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - El Castillo - Kukulcán Pyramid - 18
The Feathered serpent sculpture at the base of one of the stairways of El Castillo.

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View of Maya ruins at Chichen Itza from atop El Castillo

Chichén Itzá - Templo de los Guerreros - Temple of the Warriors -13
Views of the Central and South ruins from atop the Pyramid.

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Ball court at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - Ball Court - 1  View from atop El Castillo.

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Chinchén Itza can boast thirteen ball courts, with the largest being closest to El Castillo.  Measuring 225 x 545 feet, this is the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica.  The walls are straight (unlike other ball courts where they were slanted making the rings easier to reach by the players) and are 8 meters high.  The rings are carved with intertwined feathered serpents.

It is said that the design of the court is such that a whisper can be heard from either end 500 feet away.  How these acoustics are possible in an open-air court have yet to be explained.

 

Observatory El Caracol at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - El Caracol, observatory -16

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Caracol in Spanish means "snail" because the observatory has an interior staircase that spirals upwards reminding one of a snail's shell.  Archeologists have found that the observatory has been built and rebuilt several times.  The windows at the top point in the cardinal and subcardinal directions.  It is believed that they tracked the movements of Venus, the Pleides, and the sun and moon.

 

Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - The ruins of an ancient civilization - 2

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Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - The ruins of an ancient civilization - 3

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La Iglesia Nunnery at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - La Iglesia - Nunnery complex - 4

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La Iglesia in the Las Monjas complex is decorated with elaborate masks.  Although Las Monjas in spanish means "the nuns", it is believed that this complex was a governmental palace.  

 

La Iglesia Nunnery at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - La Iglesia in the Las Monjas complex - 8

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La Iglesia Nunnery at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - La Iglesia in the Las Monjas complex - 5

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A passageway at La Iglesia Nunnery at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - Passage ways at La Iglesia  - 6

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Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza Mexico

Chichén Itzá - The ruins of an ancient civilization - 7

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Chichén Itzá Image Pages    [1]    [2]

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If you'd like to drop me a note to let me know if any of these images have been useful, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious to see if my snapshots have been of benefit to you in some way.  Also, I'd like to hear what kind of images you'd like to see more of. 

 

 

 

World Travel


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"The world 
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~ St. Augustine ~

 


Banff - Alberta, Canada

 


Capilla de Cristo, Puerto Rico

 


Chichen Itza-Mexico

 


Niagara Falls-Canada

 


Carnton Plantation-USA

 


Chichen Itza-Mexico

 


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~ Isabelle Eberhardt ~


Athabasca Glacier-
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Trevi Fountain-Italy

 


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"I travel not 
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Venice-Italy

 


Washington Monument

 

 

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