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Uxmal
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Uxmal

Uxmal is the most spectacular of the Classic Maya cities, which is located at the entrance to the Puuc region. This region is considered as he biggest congregation of Mayan villages in the world. Uxmal is one of the most splendid sites of the Puuc region, which had its peak between 700 and 950 AD, but the best buildings were erected in the last one hundred years of its history.

The ceremonial center, core of the archaeological zone, measured a mile from north to south and a mile from east to west. Uxmal was never a city "lost" as it is aware of its existence since 1557, only 15 years after the conquest of Yucatan. Stella 14, shows Lord Chaac, one of the most powerful rulers of Uxmal that can be seen in the Site's museum.

The Puuc architectural style combines the decorative treatment and the construction technique. The buildings have a core of gravel as support load, but the coating is finely carved stones or rocks. Carved rocks settle forming complex geometric structures, often dotted with figures of birds, snakes and other creatures.

This decoration is usually found at the top of the facade, while the interiors of buildings remain without ornaments. Uxmal has some of the most beautiful examples of Mayan architecture that Frank Lloyd Wright called masterpieces of world architecture. Uxmal´s main monuments are:

The Temple of the Magician (dates from 800-900 AD) has 28.3 meters high and 53.3 meters wide. Its peculiar oval plant was built over five different temples and construction periods. Sculptures can be seen emerging from jaws of snakes.

This temple takes its name from a legend told to the American researcher John Lloyd Stephens when he visited Uxmal. The legend tells the story of a dwarf who was the son of a witch and was born from an egg. This character, with the intention of becoming governor of the city, bet with the Governor that he was able to build a pyramid in one night. The pyramid was built and the dwarf was proclaimed governor of the city built three times Uxmal.

The Nun's Quadrangle (dates from 900 AD) consists of four rectangular superb buildings, arranged around a central courtyard. The buildings are richly decorated and have up to 16 rooms. The southern flank holds a false arch. The quadrangle, harmonious and refined, is one of the largest Mayan architectural complexes. On the facade are feathered serpents, warriors and captives, representations of Kukulcán-Quetzalcoatl and Lord Chaac masks.

The Turtle House was built with a jeweler's precision; its facade is composed by smooth columns that provide a sober majesty. In the cornices at regular intervals, there are carved turtles.

The Governor's Palace is an exceptionally building of 100 meters long, divided into three parts by transverse arches, which are some the highest built by the Mayas. The decoration at the top of the facade is magnificent and shows human figures, two-headed snakes and masks of Lord Chaac among many others. The two-headed jaguar thrones in front of the building suggest that it was a royal residence and administrative center.

The Great Pyramid (dates from early 800 AD) is a nine-terraced building, with four ornately decorated temples or palaces on top. The northern flank temple is decorated with carvings of macaws.

El Palomar (dates from the ninth century) is a sequence of three spaces, the building north of the central square is a rare auction of nine crest triangular roofs resemble a loft, hence the group´s name. Yucatán archaeologist Victor Segovia discovered that in the Palomar has a phenomenon of light and shade as an effect of Feathered Serpent that occurs during the equinox.


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