Uxmal Mayan Ruins (part 1)

The Mayan Ruins of Uxmal are fascinating. At the height of its population, Uxmal was one of the largest cities in the Yucatán state of Mexico.

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Pirámide del adivino (Pyramid of the Magician)

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netmex027The Pyramid of the Magician is the tallest (117 ft.) and most recognizable ancient structure in Uxmal. This pyramid is believed to have been built between 700 and 1000 AD, and is the first structure leading to the the main court. Since I’m intrigued by seasons, and phases of the sun and moon, the fact that sticks out in my mind is that the western staircase faces the sunset during the summer solstice. The Spanish Conquest of this region left this beautiful pyramid damaged, and restorations began during the 19th century. There are several myths and legends surrounding this structure, including one about the pyramid being built by a dwarf in one night.

netmex019The Governor’s Palace

According to archaeologists and other experts, The Governor’s palace is one of the best examples of Puuc architecture, and is believed to be one of the last structures built at this ruins site (around 987 AD). The building’s richly carved upper part depicts serpents, masks, and lattices.

netmex028I climbed to the top of La Gran Pirámide (The Great Pyramid)

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netmex030From the top of La Gran Pirámide

netmex009Ornamentos de Piedra

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netmex022Pequeño edificio (small building)

netmex012Peaking into Casa de las Monjas

netmex042Nunnery Quadrangle

The Nunnery Quadrangle is a collection of four buildings, that sit on different levels around a quadrangle, and was named Casa de las Monjas (The Nunnery) by the Spanish because the 74 small rooms around the courtyard reminded them of nuns’ quarters in a Spanish convent. Each of the four buildings has its own unique ornamented exterior.

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to be continued…

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