The worldwide interest in the heritage of the Mayan civilization does not fade away. Numerous religious and cult riddles, gloomy predictions and accurate calendars, gigantic ruined cities, among which the most famous is Chichen Itza, are invariably attracted by crowds of tourists and curious. The very name Chichen Itza from Maya translates as “well of the Mayan tribe”, due to the fact that there are 13 cenotes (natural wells) in the territory of the ancient city.
Chichen Itza: History of the City
Based on archaeological data and fragments of ancient chronicles, the researchers concluded that the famous Mayan city was founded in the 5-6 centuries of the new era. He immediately became the center of the territory of Yucatan: political, religious, cultural. According to some data (all the allegations regarding Chichen Itza are not confirmed and are hypotheses that require proof, which is almost impossible to find), from 20 to 30 thousand people lived in the city. Countless pilgrims and wanderers, merchants and money changers annually visited this settlement.
In the 10th century, the Mayans were conquered by the Taltecs, the city was partially plundered and abandoned by the majority of the population. But life did not leave him. Decline falls on the 13th century after Christ. The buildings fell off, people left Chichen Itza. From the 15th century, herds of cattle grazed on the territory that was once rich, flourished and crowded.
For a long time no one showed any interest in the majestic and sinister ruins. From the middle of the 19th century, the fascination with culture, astrology, and most importantly – the legendary Mayan riches began. Scattered, but numerous excavations, studies, artists and photographers from all over the world came to the site to capture quaint buildings and mysterious temples.
In the 2nd half of the last century, the Mexican government decided to restore (as far as possible) the original appearance of Chichen Itza. This place has become a Mecca for tourists.
In 2007, the ancient city of Chichen Itza, Mexico included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Mayan city of Chichen Itza is named one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
Chichen Itza, Mexico and the Artistic Value of the Ruins
The area of the city is about 6 km. sq. The remaining architectural complexes are numerous and, if you study them in detail, to consider each relief and column, one day to visit will not be enough. Unfortunately, tours organized from Cancun are only one-day. There is no place to spend the night in Chichen Itza, and it is scary.
A professional guide will lead a group on paved roads, perfectly preserved for a half dozen centuries, and show-tell about all religious buildings of the city. The most significant and huge of them is the pyramid of Chichen Itza called Kukulkan “The Feathered Serpent”. The guide will entertain (and frighten someone) legends about bloody sacrifices, cruelty and religious beliefs of an ancient tribe. The temple of the warriors will strike with realistic reliefs and sculptures, in the group of “thousands of columns” it is easy to get lost. The “ball game” playground will surprise with the size of its territory and cause goosebumps with images of severed heads.
The tour includes a visit to the sacred cenote – a natural reservoir, whose diameter is 60 m. The depth is almost the same. There is evidence that girls and children were thrown into this Mayan “lake”, as well as numerous religious objects, asking their deities for rain.