Chichen Itza is an archaeological zone in Mexico that dates back to the pre- Hispanic era. It is situated in the eastern region of the state of Yucatan and serves as the pride of the country. Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archaeological zone is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza, with its structures deep-rooted in history, serves as the perfect place for those who love to delve into the past and explore it. According to certain historical accounts when the Spanish arrived, there was thriving community living there, however it can’t be said with certainly whether the Mayans were living in Chichen Itza or somewhere nearby. Built as per a multitude of architectural styles, the site is a marvel in itself and continues to draw visitors from across the globe. In the following lines, we have provided some more fun and interesting facts about Chichen Itza.
Built In: c. 600 AD
Built By: Mayan Civilization
Fun Facts About Chichen Itza
- Chichen Itza is a pre-Columbian archaeological zone that is situated in the eastern region of Yucatan State of Mexico.
- Chichen Itza was built by the Maya civilization.
- As per certain Mayan chronicles including the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, ruler of Mayapan named Hunac Ceel, captured Chichen Itza in the 13th century.
- Archaeological evidences suggest that Chichen Itza was once looted and sacked.
- Chichen Itza has been declared as a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO.
- El Castillo, a structure in Chichen Itza, experiences an unusual phenomenon every year, during the spring equinox. The sunrays falling in the pyramid create a shadow down its stairs, which looks like an image of a descending plumed serpent.
- Juego de Pelota, another structure in Chichen Itza, is the largest ball court in Mesoamerica. It measures 168 meters in length and 70 meters in width.
- Cenote Sagrado is a large sinkhole in Chichen Itza, which measures 60 meters in diameter.
- The Grupo de las Mil Columnas (Group of 1,000 Columns) is an arcade in Chichen Itza. It comprises of a series of columns and is spread over an area of 110 sq. meters (363 sq. feet).
- The Observatorio (observatory) in Chichen Itza is called Caracol. Quite sophisticated for its time, the structure allows one to appreciate the scientific and astronomical achievements of the Mayans.
- The church in Chichen Itza is known as La Iglesia. It is constructed out of stone and stands festooned with images of Rain God - Chaac, apart from geometrical figures.
- Piramide de Kukulcan (Pyramid of Kulkulcan) is another interesting structure in Chichen Itza, with its bottom and top of the stairways adorned with several large serpent heads.
- Chichen Itza is open daily, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, while the admission is free on Sundays. More than 1.2 million tourist visit Chichen Itza every year.
- Chichen Itza represents the blend of a number of architectural styles, right from the Mexican styles to the Puuc styles.
- Chichen Itza is maintained by National Institute of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, INAH), Mexico.
- The name ‘Chichen Itza’ literally means ‘At the mouth of the well of the Itza’.
- In Chichen Itza, each of the structures has a name of its own.
- The Temple of the Warriors is one of the most impressive structures at Chichen Itza.
- There are 365 steps leading to the temple. Each of the steps represents one day of the year. On each of the four sides of the temple there are 91 steps, and the top platform is the 365th step.
- Pelota Court is the main ball court in Chichen Itza and also the largest and best preserved ball courts in the world.