Welcome to Global-Travelling.com

Amateur dispatches from around the world

Some facts
Who are we ?
How do we publish ?
What's the equipment ?
Plans for the future
Who serves us ?
Your opinion
Contact us
Central America
East Europe
North America
South America
WEB resources
Time zones
Currency converter
World maps
Chichén Itzá
2004-07-05 00:31:00
We left Playa del Carmen by car and headed for some of the most famous ruins after the Maya empire. The first one on the list was Chichén Itzá.
Chichén Itzá means 'Mouth of the well of the water sorcerer', and the city was buildt by the Maya between 600-900AD. At the end of the 10th century the city was abandoned for unknown reasons, but reestablished again in the 11th-12th century. There exist some controversy about who reestablished the city, but the majority seems to end up with the Toltecs due to alot of Toltec influence on the structures.

When you enter the Chichén Itzá area, you're welcomed by the dominating pyramid El Castillo. It's just an awsome sight, and a structure you can admire for hours. It got 91 stairs on each side up to the balustrade on top. Take all the steps on the four sides and add the balustrade, and you have the number of days in a year. You have five adornments on each side, add them and you have the days in a Maya month.

The view from the top of the balustrade was fantastic. To one side you have the view towards the Temple of the Thousand Columns, and opposite you have the view towards the Ballcourt. It should be mentioned however that the stairs of El Castillo was the worst to descend so far, and some where happy they didn't ascend the pyramid.

El Castillo also have an interior ascent with 61 steep and narrow steps that lead up to the chamber of the high priest. Here resides the red painted jaguar with eyes of jade and fangs of flint. Unfortunately it was a very hot day, and the que to enter the interior was too long, so we didn't make it inside. I have to come back here sometime anyway.

The next dominant structure is the Ball court with towering walls and a projecting ring of stone high up on each wall. The ball game itself consisted of a pretty big rubber ball and the point of the game was to keep the ball aloft all the time using your body, i.e. without using hands or feet. The stone rings on the walls were goals, and the first team to score had won the game.

You also find a relief showing the decapitation of the captain on the winning team. Sacrifice was an honour in the Maya empire, eventhough some argues that it reflects the captain of the loosing team. Ball courts are present on almost all Maya sites, eventhough this is the grandest so far. It also has an awesome view to El Castillo.

The next dominant structure of the area is the Group of Thousand Columns, which comprises the Temple of Warriors. When Chichén Izá was populated, the Thousand Columns complex had roof made of wood, so it would have to have been quite a sight. Unfortunately wood is perishable material, and the columns are all that are left today.

You can also walk on a sacbé, a sacred way, Cenote Segrado, the Well of Sacrifice. The huge sunken well, thet also gave the name to the city, is almost totaly cylindrical with a diameter of 60m, and a depth of 35m.

The Maya had sacrificial ceremonies here, and all kinds of valuable propitiatory objects, animals and even humans where thrown into the Cenote Segrado to please the Gods. (You can see the chantry from where the sacrifice where thrown into the cenote in the middle to the right.)

The Cenote Segrado has been explored twice, first by Edwards H. Thompson, the US Consul in Mérida, between 1904-1907, and the second time in 1962 by a expedition sponsored by the National Geographic. A vast quantity of objects has been recovered.

There are still many sites to explore in Chichén Itzá, but the extremly hot weather made it hard, so it's just to admit that this place has to be visited again if existence allow. To miss the Observatory hurts most.
<< Back
Dispatches from Asia
Dispatches from Central America
Dispatches from East Europe
Dispatches from North America
Dispatches from South-America
Contact us
2000-08-20 19:00:00
Rio de Janeiro - the big contrast
2000-08-19 17:48:00
La Paz - an exciting city
2000-08-16 12:10:00
Puno and the lake Titicaca
2000-08-16 12:00:00
Cusco - The capitol of the Inca empire
2000-08-09 20:00:00
The Inca Trial to Machupicchu
2000-08-04 21:00:00
Colca Canyon - The great expirience
2000-08-04 21:00:00
Arequipa - we're getting higher
2000-08-04 14:51:00
Nazca and the famouse Nazca lines
2000-08-02 19:46:00
The journey from Lima to Nazca.....
2000-07-31 00:23:00
The centrum of Lima and an interesting meeting.....