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Archaeological Zone Uxmal
Yucatán, México
08:00 a 17:00


The current name seems to derive from Oxmal which means three times built and seems to refer to his age and the number of times he had to reedificarse. Of these assumptions no verification whatsoever.

The oldest reference are listed in the Chilam Balam of Chumayel (written in Latin characters where Maya tells the story of the Maya). On this basis, and with the interpretations of the inscriptions of the rings on the field of ballgame, it is estimated that Uxmal was founded in the seventh century, during the first occupation, in the classic period.

It also is registered in the second Chilam Balam occupation occurred in the tenth century by migrants from the Antiplano Central ethnicity xiue. In this period there is an impact on the buildings. The annals in the Maya language date the arrival of xiues to Uxmal between the year 987 and 1007. This group introduced the Nahua component and with them the cult Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl. The rain god Chaac present since before the coming of the Nahua and the heavy dependence of the rain that had residents of the entire area Puuc.

Although the architecture Puuc style is predominant in the area, were also found traces of other styles gathered at the same venue. The style chenes reflected in the facades of buildings, as well as representations of the plumed serpent style Toltec and other traces found in Mexico and features sculptures with Olmec, Teotihucans traits manifest themselves in some of the masks that represent the god Chaac.


Importance of place

Uxmal apparently is a toponym Mayan Yucatán derived from ox, which means "three", and refers to the bad times she returns to work, the meaning of Uxmal can be "Three times built or occupied."




It is located at 62Km south of Merida, capital of Yucatan in Mexico. Its buildings notable for their size and decoration. Among them, as well as other cities in the area, there are some built roadways calls sacbés.


Chacchoben map

Principal Structures

Pyramid's Adivino

The Pyramid of Adivino, also known as the Wizard or the Dwarf, all of them name from the legend that he told the investigator John Lloyd Stephens when he visited Uxmal, the legend tells the story of a dwarf who was a child and had hechicera born from an egg. This figure, with the intention of becoming governor of the city gambled with the governor who was then able to build a pyramid in a single night. The pyramid was built and the dwarf was proclaimed governor of the city built three times Uxmal.

This is the greatest monument of the city. It has a height of 35m and a width of 53.5 m. It consists of five different structures and different times, each has its own temple (the first being buried by the following and are inaccessible to access while the others had carried out an opening). It is perched on a plinth or sidewalk around the building. It began to build in the sixth century and the last century level X. The hieroglyphics existing helped the dating of each of the periods of construction.

* Level I, Temple I. Its located on the platform or sidewalk, practically at ground level. Its decor is based columnillas and masks of Chaac which include the two that were on the entry. In this temple was found sculpture known as the Queen of Uxmal which is a snakehead mouth open with the emerging human beings

* Level II, Temple II. To access it became an opening from which one looks at the columns supporting the roof.

* Level III, Temple III. It is an oratory then covered another building with a throne in the form of mascarón of Chaac.

* Level IV, Temple IV. It is the best preserved of all the five temples. Have a camera in the form of mascarón of Chaac coinciding mouth of the same with the entry to which is accessed through the eastern part of the pyramid. It has a very heavy decoration, beyond the customary in the Puuc style.

* Level V, Temple. It rose at the top of the pyramid and to access it must climb 150 steep stairs are flanked by masks of Chaac. The decoration of facades is fully Puuc, low flat walls on which he puts a great greca decorated, in this case intertwined with snakes and a thatched roof hut.

Quadrangle of Nuns

Behind the Pyramid of Adivino there is a large courtyard located on a large platform square 120m aside. On each side rise buildings that have a large number of inner rooms that open into the courtyard. That took, as early as the first visits highlighted that the Spaniards to this place, to do compared with a convent, then adopts the name, since that time, Casa de las Monjas.

The decor of all buildings is in line with the Puuc style. The lower walls are smooth while superiors have a very rich ornamentation. In the corners there are masks of Chaac and snake heads, the rest is supplemented with geometric figures, snakes and masks of Chaac.

The building that stands on the north side is at a higher level than the others. We go to for a wide staircase that has a trail in the center. At the end of this ladder, there are two temples, one larger than the other. On the right, a minor, has no ornamentation and only has two columns. On the left, the largest, has an ornament which suggest that it was devoted to the planet Venus (where she called the Temple of Venus), and supports four columns. In this building there are a total of 26 rooms that are available horizontally. The ornamentation complete with greca setting forth, human figures, monkeys, birds and stylized Mayan huts with roofs made of feathers and two-headed snakes. Obviously there are masks of Chaac and also Tláloc.

The building's south side, which stands for good bill of stone work, has eight rooms to be accessed from the outside world and to each side of them there is a small room. An arc of entry and serves on the inside there hands red paint is believed to symbolize God Zamná called dew from heaven or heavenly hand. These paintings were revealed to discard the polychrome stucco covering these placements. The decoration of the facade is composed of alternanciae linen smooth with groups of three columns complete with performances of Chaac which has changed the nose by ripples in the eyes, bringing the rain to fall.

The building of this has five cameras, two of which then has rooms indoors. This building has a length of 50m. The decorating its walls mimic flakes snake. It complemeta six snakes bicéfalas prepared from highest to lowest and whose crown heads of owls, a bird associated with death. The masks of Chaac are also present.

On the west side there is a building 50m long with six cameras with interior rooms. This building is decorated with a mosaic stone overlaid with figures. Stresses that the door on this central seems to represent a dignitary associated with the worship of the tortoise. Subsequently is adding two snakes emplumadas representing Quetzalcoatl.

Play Ball

The pitches of the ballgame not abound in the cities of the Puuc region. In Uxmal only has been found this. His condition deteriorated very, shows two parts that make up the sides of the court and where the rings for which was due to introduce the ball. These rings were found at the foot of these structures.

The ballgame is very common in the cultures of Mesoamerica. He had a sports religious sense which made it a mystical ceremony. Its meaning is related to the movement of the stars and the struggle of the light against the darkness. In the area Mayan stories are collected on this game in the codex popol Vuh.

Governor's Palace

On a large platform based around three terraces are surrounded by a plain rises this building which is the most prominent, along with the Pyramid of Adivino, from the city and the Mayan architecture and is considered as one of the summits of architectural Mexico prehispano.

It measures nearly 100m in length, 12 in width and 9 in height and consists of three independent bodies, the core is a rectangular building that is fourteen cameras accessible, 11 of them from the outside. Both sides stand two buildings remaining nests by the central galleries vaults. The walls, at the height of the wall accesses this smooth, without ornamentation. On it there is a very large greca ornamented with many masks of Chaac thatch huts, garlands, pedestals, floats and feather headgear giving the whole of the utmost importance. On the door is located a figure which represents a ruler with a large plume to be crowned by a composition of snakes bicéfalas.

House of Turtles

At the end of the platform of this palace of the Governor this building which has an ornament based on figures turtle, which gets its name. With some measures 10m wide by 30 long has three rooms in the center and two on each side. In Inside, there is small sidewalks.

Platform for the Jaguars

In the terrace that opens in front of the Governor's Palace is located this little platform accessed by four stairs. It is a sculpture representing two jaguars united by the thorax. This sculpture could have been a ceremonial altar. This oriented from north to south. Among this terrace and the facade of the palace there is a column fálica. At the foot of the platform jaguars born sacbé that will Kabáh.

The Great Pyramid

In the southwest side of the platform below the palace of the Governor stands the remains of what should be a pyramid of similar magnitude to that of Adivino. Comprising nine basements staggered with a large staircase that leads to a platform, separated by four steps, giving access to the building governed there. The center is the passage to the interior where there is a great mascarón of Chaac.

The north facade was restored between 1972 and 1973. The top level is dated in the ninth century. The ornamentation is done through a cornice with three points with three masks of Chaac one another, and a grecas decoration birds, including parrots that are associated with the sun, and to give a name to the temple.

Body of the House of Doves and South Temple

It is a building that closes the side of a rectangular courtyard of 140m ². It is located behind the Great Pyramid and has two well-defined the north, which consists of two rows of dwellings, some with access from the courtyard and others on the other side without having communication with each other, and the south, they are better preserved and have been built on a different level, the highest of the north. About the dwellings of the northern stand the remains of a very remarkable basketry. The resemblance of these remains with a palomar has given his name to the building. In a corner there is a small pyramid crowned with a temple.

Structure Chimez

In strange characteristics, and may say that only in the area, is in bad condition. It had two levels, these are some of the second on the northern side. The decoration of the facade is based on geometric shapes reminiscent of a cypress from which comes the name because in Mayan cypress is said chimez.

The Arc

From arch entrance to the city and where the sabéc that gave commencement addresses Kabác just left its base. By the resignations of it is estimated that the height of the building would be about 6m with a width of 3 m.

Guide Pyramid la Vella

It is situated in the southwest corner near the Governor's Palace. In very poor condition still be seen remnants of the temple which was at its top and another building at its base. Receive the name of the legend who told him to Stephens sobe a dwarf who was born from an egg.

Quadrangle's Cemetery

The ornamentation based skulls and bones made it received the name of Cemetery. The set consists of four buildings that closed courtyard. The building's north side is a pyramid which still has remnants of a shrine at its peak. The building on the west side, restored facade lies a smooth with a cornice consisting of two horizontal bands and is topped by a crestería of 10 holes.

Structure of Falos

Near the Old Pyramid, a 500m southwest, this package is very deteriorated facades that have a smooth with a cornice structures in the form of falos that placed on the roof should take the role of desaguar rainwater.

Group of Columns

Two small temple that had ornamentation based columns whose remains have given names to all. It is located northeast of the Quadrangle's Cemetery. They are in very bad condition.

Platform of Estela

It is situated north of the Group of Columns, there are 15 trails that have bas-reliefs of human figures dressed to use. These reliefs, which are hieroglyphs have seriously deteriorated and the stelae are falling.

Northwest and Northern Structure

These groups of buildings are still without studying or restore. There is, in the Northwest Group, a pyramid and a yard in the form of quadrangle surrounded by buildings.

In the north there is a group of high pyramid and the remains of an arch.


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