Chichén Itzá

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The stepped pyramids, temples, columned arcades, and other stone structures of Chichén Itzá were sacred to the Maya and a sophisticated urban center of their empire from A.D. 750 to 1200.

Viewed as a whole, the incredible complex reveals much about the Maya and Toltec vision of the universe—which was intimately tied to what was visible in the dark night skies of the Yucatán Peninsula.

The most recognizable structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. This glorious step pyramid demonstrates the accuracy and importance of Maya astronomy—and the heavy influence of the Toltecs, who invaded around 1000 and precipitated a merger of the two cultural traditions.

The temple has 365 steps—one for each day of the year. Each of the temple’s four sides has 91 steps, and the top platform makes the 365th.

Devising a 365-day calendar was just one feat of Maya science. Incredibly, twice a year on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow falls on the pyramid in the shape of a serpent. As the sun sets, this shadowy snake descends the steps to eventually join a stone serpent head at the base of the great staircase up the pyramid’s side.

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Comments (52)

Rositsa Mitkova on March 31, 2013

GREAT place & photo * Like , ☆ *

Lucky spring & Happy Easter * Warm wishes, Rosi

М. Тодоровић on April 3, 2013

Beautiful shot, great colors!

Like + Voted

Best wishes, Tosa

mirec1304 on April 3, 2013

Very nice shot.L

Dana Oltean on April 4, 2013

Wonderful picture!

Like&voted! Dana

蒂芙尼.林 on April 11, 2013

Great & wonderful and fabulous shapshot & good composition on colour setting. YS:16 + LIKE:45

congratulation and have a nice day for you AmJB

best regards from tiffany Liem

Lau kinsang on April 18, 2013


Christos Theodorou on April 25, 2013

A perfect image worthy of my VOTE - A lot of greetings from Greece, Christos

arno18 on April 29, 2013

Wow! This is wonderful!! ♥♥♥ + ☼ VOTED. Friendly greetings from Switzerland ~☺ Arno✿ܓ

arno18 on April 29, 2013

Wow! This is wonderful!! ♥♥♥ + ☼ VOTED. Friendly greetings from Switzerland ~☺ Arno✿ܓ

Thanasis Germanos on May 14, 2013

Beautiful photography. LIKE Greetings Thanasis

George Gomez on May 20, 2013

very nice picture of famous place! like. greetings from Lina.

Premysl on May 28, 2013

Really beautiful photo! Interesting info! LIKE Greetings, Přemysl

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 1, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by James Bian
    • Camera: Canon EOS 6D
    • Taken on 2013/02/18 15:42:20
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 25.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash