City of Chichen Itza

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City of Chichen-Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinum Municipality, Yucatan State, Mexico.

Chichen Itza was a major focal point in the Northern Maya Lowlands from the Late Classic (c. AD 600–900) through the Terminal Classic (c. AD 800–900) and into the early portion of the Postclassic period (c. AD 900–1200). The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico and of the Puuc and Chenes styles of the Northern Maya lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion.

Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.

The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatan.

Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico with over 2 million tourists in 2016.

Chichen Itza is located in the eastern portion of Yucatan state in Mexico. The northern Yucatan Peninsula is arid, and the rivers in the interior all run underground. There are four visible, natural sink holes, called cenotes, that could have provided plentiful water year round at Chichen, making it attractive for settlement. Of these cenotes, the “Cenote Sagrado” or Sacred Cenote (also variously known as the Sacred Well or Well of Sacrifice), is the most famous. In 2015, scientists determined that there is a hidden cenote under Kukulkan, which has never been seen by archaeologists.

According to post-Conquest sources (Maya and Spanish), pre-Columbian Maya sacrificed objects and human beings into the cenote as a form of worship to the Maya rain god Chaac. Edward Herbert Thompson dredged the Cenote Sagrado from 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery and incense, as well as human remains. A study of human remains taken from the Cenote Sagrado found that they had wounds consistent with human sacrifice

description : Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities, with the relatively densely clustered architecture of the site core covering an area of at least 5 square kilometres (1.9 sq mi).Smaller scale residential architecture extends for an unknown distance beyond this.The city was built upon broken terrain, which was artificially levelled in order to build the major architectural groups, with the greatest effort being expended in the levelling of the areas for the Castillo pyramid, and the Las Monjas, Osario and Main Southwest groups.

The site contains many fine stone buildings in various states of preservation, and many have been restored. The buildings were connected by a dense network of paved causeways, called sacbeob. Archaeologists have identified over 80 sacbeob criss-crossing the site, and extending in all directions from the city.Many of these stone buildings were originally painted in red, green, blue and purple colors. Pigments were chosen according to what was most easily available in the area. The site must be imagined as a colorful one, not like it is today. Just like gothic cathedrals in Europe, colors provided a greater sense of completeness and contributed greatly to the symbolic impact of the buildings.

The architecture encompasses a number of styles, including the Puuc and Chenes styles of the northern Yucatan Peninsula.The buildings of Chichen Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, and each set was at one time separated from the other by a series of low walls. The three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform, which includes the monuments of El Castillo, Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court; The Osario Group, which includes the pyramid of the same name as well as the Temple of Xtoloc; and the Central Group, which includes the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib.

South of Las Monjas, in an area known as Chichen Viejo (Old Chichen) and only open to archaeologists, are several other complexes, such as the Group of the Initial Series, Group of the Lintels, and Group of the Old Castle.

Acces : Chichen Itza is on the main highway between the capital city of Merida and the resort city of Cancun. If you have time and are looking for a more adventurist route, the “libre’ road that runs parallel to the toll highway goes through and by many villages and gives a better feel for the area. If you take the “libre” route, you will need to be more alert for pedestrians and animals on the road, as well as the numerous “speed bumps” you will encounter. If after dark, stick to the toll road. Come by automobile or take the very regular bus service. If coming by bus, note that if you buy a ticket for Chichen Itza, you will be dropped right next to the ruins. If you want to go to a hotel in the nearby town, buy your ticket for Piste.

From Cancun: ADO bus service from Cancun costs $202 MXN one way trip and takes 3 hours. You’ll have about 4 hours to spend in the area if using the faster bus. A cheaper bus is available for 122 pesos and with travel time of four hours per direction. If you are visiting in transit between different accommodations there is free, well signed, baggage storage after the cashier on the right past the restrooms.

From Merida: ADO buses leave from the CAME bus station (located at Calle 69 at the corner with Calle 70) daily at 06.30, 08.30 and 09.15. From Chichen Itza they return at 18.20. Tickets cost $130 to $150 MXN one-way. Travel time is between 1h30m and 1h45m. Many car rental companies are located around the Fiesta Americana Hotel. A one day small car rental costs between $800 and $2000 MXN. Be sure to shop around for the best price. Chichen Itza is 125 km (1h30m) away by car. If you take the toll road to and from Chichen Itza back to Merida factor in 2x $92 MXN. There’s a $30 MXN parking fee at Chichen Itza.

From Valladolid: There are hourly buses that stop in Chichen Itza, it costs $26 MXN (September 2015).

Entrance Fee : The entrance fee is now $242 MXN ($172 for the ticket + $70 tax). There’s no indication paying by cash or card is any different in price On Sundays, Mexicans don’t pay the entrance fee (an official ID must be shown at the entrance). Chichen Itza  is an  UNESCO World Heritage Site since  2007

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