Chichen Itza - (Spanish: Chichén Itzá, ast Chichen Itzā, UK Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha...) - The ancient center of the Mayan-Toltec civilization, located in Mexico, which absorbed the knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the universe and about the world.

In the language of the local tribes, "Chichen Itza" means "mouth of the well plemne Itza" or "Mouth of the well of water sorcerers". Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the pyramid El Castillo is located (Kukulcan), declared one of the new seven wonders of the world. Chichen Itza - the most famous and at the same time, the most well-preserved ancient city of Yucatan.

In Mexico, the legendary city is the second tourist attendance among ancient attractions. He estimated devote more than a million people annually. Most large influx of tourists is celebrated twice a year, during the spring (March 21-22) and the autumnal equinox (September 21-22). These days there is a play of light and shadow, when during the sunset shadow from the corner of stepped terraces of the pyramid El Castillo, creates the illusion of a snake crawling. These days at Chichen Itza is going to so many people, that is unlikely to be able to see the good play of light and shadow. A week before and week after these dates, the effect of light and shade remains substantially the same.

However, in recent years, due to the huge attendance of Chichen Itza many say that that ancient city, turned into such a tourist and commercialized center, during his visit is not possible to experience the magic of the ancient culture of the crowds of tourists and sellers souvenirs in the territory of the complex. The most famous in the world Chichen Itza received in 2012, when, according to the Mayan calendar on December 21 had come to an end of the world. A huge number of people from different countries flocked to Mexico in Chichen Itza to meet a great moment. Some television carried live coverage from the event. The cost of one night in some hotels are not far from the archaeological complex of several thousand dollars. What would catch Chichen Itza without the crowds of tourists, it is better to come to the opening of the complex at 8 am when the tour groups had not yet arrived.

Chichen Itza map

Chichen Itza

The public ownership of land, which is located on Chichen Itza passed March 30, 2010. This day ended with a deal after talks Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco and landowner Hans Jurgen Thies Barbachano, buying plots of land area of 83 hectares, which is an ancient city, for $ 17.8 million. It was reported that the landowner himself insisted on the sale that would preserve the heritage of Yucatan.

History

Fully reliably describe the history of Chichen Itza is not possible, since the policy of the Spanish conquerors included the destruction of manuscripts and killing Maya priests. It is believed that people have mastered it in the 4th century, and in the 7th century began to build the first buildings appeared and the urban community. From 7th to 10th century Mayans live here. In the 10th century it captured the Toltecs, who did not destroy the city, and have absorbed part of his culture in itself. It was during the reign of Toltec Chichen Itza became the most powerful city in the Yucatan Peninsula. In the mid-11 th century Chichen Itza became the capital of the Toltec state. In 1178 the town was captured by the army associate three city-states - Mayapan, Uxmal and Itsmalya which led Hunak Keel.Posle 1194 polnustyu city deserted for unknown reasons and was overgrown with jungle.

The newly discovered world mysterious city archaeologists in 1920. Ancient buildings cleared and reconstructed, the archaeological complex has begun to attract tourists.

Chichen Itza Attractions

Unfortunately, since the beginning of 2006 the rise of the ancient construction is forbidden, except for a few specially marked places.

Pyramid El Castillo (El Castillo) (Kukulkan pyramid)

Chichen Itza

The main attraction is the Chichen Itza pyramid El Castillo, and this is no accident. When Chichen Itza Toltec captured they combined their knowledge of the Maya cosmology with knowledge, with the result that there was El Costil. Kukulcan Pyramid devoted to the god of the wind and rain in the form of a feathered serpent with a human head. Built a thousand years ago, El Castillo, the chief symbol of Chichen Itza and possibly all of Yucatan. This is one of the most famous and visited buildings Mexico in pre-Columbian America. In 2007, a monument entered in the list of the new seven wonders of the world.
Architecture 24-meter pyramid, full of symbolism connected with cosmology and the calendar of the ancient Indians. Leading to the top of the stairs and four have a central platform for 91 steps each, for a total of 364. This is the number of days in a year. On each side of the pyramid 18 terraces (9 steps each side), which is equal to the number of months in the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar consists of two cycles: 365 day and 260 day shiupoualli tonalpohualli. These two cycles coincide every 52 years. On each of the four sides of the pyramid are 52 stone bas-relief. Who represents the coincidence of these cycles every 52 years.

Playground for ball Juego de Pelita

Mexico

A total of Chichen Itza there are nine areas for ball games. The main and the biggest of them is the Juego de Pelita. It is the largest and best preserved area for ball games with the Indians in all of Mesoamerica. Its length is 168 meters and width of 70 meters. The site has a unique acoustic effect, ate speak the same end of the field, then the other will still be heard. If you clap your hands, cotton will respond echoed that some compare with the cries of birds. It is believed that the Indians during construction accident reached this effect, but when it is found perfected.
How to play the ball of the Maya, Toltecs and Aztecs
How exactly playing ball, and what were the rules is not known, but most historians agree that Saskatoon was as follows.

Chichen Itza

The game was conducted rubber ball (in some cases states that a human head), which could refer only to the knees, elbows and carved bat. It was necessary to throw the ball in one of the rings, which are the left and right walls, one on each side. The hole diameter of the ring was a little more than the size of the ball. The field was divided in half and each team had to be one in their half of the pitch. The winner is the team that got into the ball ring, but every hit on the ring to count towards penalty point. So how to get into the ring was extremely difficult, Saskatoon could last for hours, and sometimes the result is determined by the number of penalty points, as not one of the teams could not get the ball into the ring. At the end of the game the captain of the winning team cut off the head of the captain of the losing team, and sometimes head to chop off all the losing team. Sometimes, the game had a ritual significance, for that would take a definite decision priests.
Right from the golf ball is the Temple of Skulls (Tzompantli). The name comes from an image of skulls carved on a stone platform. Near this temple is placed on the pole severed heads in a row.

Temple of the Warriors (Templo de los Guerreros)

Chichen Itza

Temple of warriors - a five-step pyramid, 11.5 meters high, on top of which is the building of the temple. It consists of a front room and the sanctuary, the entrance to which is decorated with a portal carved in stone writhing snakes. The sanctuary is a low stone altar in the form of a table supported by small human figures. On the open area of the sanctuary is a stone idol of the demon-Chuck Moola in the form of reclining man with a tray on his stomach for sacrifice. It is believed that most heart was placed in it. Sam Temple Warriors on three sides by columns made in the form of soldiers, hence the name of the temple.

Observatory El Caracol

Mexico

El Caracol - the largest discovered an ancient astronomical complex on the Yucatan Peninsula. From the observatory Indians watched the celestial objects, calculated the spring and autumn equinox day, the summer solstice, and it is likely that it is here created their own predictions. The observations were made in the holes made in the round arch of the observatory. Round arch observatory rebuilt several times during the observatory activities.
The observatory was named El Caracol (El Caracol), since it is the Spanish word translated means snail, which is associated with a spiral staircase inside the El Caracol.

Sacred cenote

The Yucatan Peninsula is a limestone plain with no rivers and streams. The only source of fresh water cenotes are where groundwater comes to the surface. Cenote is a karst formation - Lake wells, and sometimes the whole cave complex with underground rivers and temporary access to the sea.
But not always Cenote Indians used for water, they played a role in ritual some cases. These donations were thrown and they practiced human sacrifice. It was believed that the cenote is a kind of portal through which you can get to God. Priests were sent after certain ceremonies "chosen" to meet with God, and often it was not pleasing to the people, and for a long time watching the victim that she had not been on the water's surface, helping it to go to God with stones. Given the fact that the surface of the water to the ground, there was no small distance, and that the priests closely followed that would accurately hit their tribesman to God for a long time, out of the cenote was almost impossible. The only known Indian who somehow got out of the Sacred Cenote considered Hunac Ceel. Later, under his leadership in 1178 and was captured by the Chichén Itzá. Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza, located in 5-10 minutes walk away from El Castillo. Professor at Harvard University and the American consul in Merida, Herbert Thompson explored the Sacred Cenote from 1904 to 1910 brought out a lot of ancient artifacts of gold, jade ceramics, rubber, obsidian, as well as human remains. Subsequently, most of the discovered treasures were in the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University Peabody.
Some sightseeing tours do not include a visit to the Sacred Cenote.

Osario
Osario in Spanish means cemetery. Rosario at Chichen Itza is not a large step pyramid with a temple on top. As El Castillo has four sides with staircases on each side. But unlike El Castillo Osorio in the center there is a hole that leads to the cave, 12 meters deep below ground level. He excavated the cave Herbert Thompson in the 19th century and found in it a number of artifacts and skeletons. Thompson called pyramid Tomb of the High Priest (Tumba del Gran Sacerdote), since it has two names.

Chichen Itza Hotels

It is recommended to avoid a one-day visit to Chichen Itza and spend at least one night in a nearby hotel for serious fans of historical monuments. This must be done for two reasons: first, you will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological complex in the morning, when there are no tourist groups and secondly to see the show of sound and light that occur in the evenings.
In the vicinity of Chichen Itza there are a number of hotels in different price categories. Chichen Itza Search for cheap hotels

Chichen Itza how to reach

Chichen Itza is a popular tourist center, to get to it is not too difficult. This can be done both independently and as part of a tour group. Usually the tour round in Chichen Itza yet included visits to several attractions, such as it can be: Cenote Ik-Kil and the city of Valladolid.
When you visit Chichen Itza as part of a tourist group has its pluses and minuses. Advantages lie in the fact that as part of a tour group, you will visit several places and all of this you are likely to be cheaper if you yourself traveled by bus ADO, bought a ticket to the archaeological site and the ability to hire a guide. The main disadvantage when visiting in a group tour is that you will be viewing Chichen Itza together with a bunch of other tourists and a time for inspection will be strictly regulated. You will not be able to see the evening show of sound and light.

How to get to Chichen Itza yourself

From Cancun ADO bus the journey takes about three hours, the price of 236 pesos (about $ 20) each way.

From Playa del Carmen on the ADO bus the journey takes about four hours, the price of 316 pesos each way.

From Merida ADO bus the journey takes about one and a half hours, the price of 142 pesos each way.

travel prices are subject to change, according to this it is better to check the company's website http://www.ado.com.mx.

Chichen Itza travel photos

Mexico
Entrance to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza.

Mexico
Near the entrance to the complex are Mexicans dressed in the likeness of the Maya, which can be photographed.

Chichen Itza
The main attraction of Chichen Itza, El Costil pyramid, it is also called El Castillo, as built in honor of Kukulkan, the god of wind and rain in the form of a feathered serpent with a human head.

Mexico
The head of the snake in the background of the pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
The head of the snake in the background of the pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
The staircase leading to the top of the pyramid El Castillo. Direct access and opportunity to climb the pyramid were closed in 2006.

Mexico
Pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
Pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
Pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
Pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
The head of the feathered serpent and the pyramid El Castillo.

Mexico
Home playground for ball at Chichen Itza (Juego de Pelota), all in the city of nine. It is the largest and best preserved area for ball games throughout Mesoamerica.

Chichen Itza
Ring in which players had to get the ball.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza
Observatory El Caracol

Chichen Itza
The Spanish word El Caracol, represents a spiral staircase. Inside the observatory is a spiral staircase.

Chichen Itza
Temple of warriors (Templo de los Guerreros)

Chichen Itza

Mexico

Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza very touristic place and be photographed against the background of the pyramid El Castillo, without tourists, is very problematic. And even at the time of the closure I was not able to do it.

Mexico
Many sellers operating in the Chichen Itza come to work with their kids.

Mexico
Archaeological Site of Chichen Itza today is very commercialized. On its territory as well as near many souvenir sellers, ponchos, sambrero...

 
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