Chichen Itza Mayan Site in Mexico
In 1988, UNESCO recognized Chichen Itza as a World Heritage Site, and it has also been declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, close to the cities of Merida and Cancun in Mexico, the Chichen Itza archeological site is one of the few locations where Mayan architecture and history can be explored. With the Mayan civilization being active on this site from 750 to 1200 AD, the buildings that are still visible today stand as monuments to their extremely advanced engineering abilities.
It is believed that Chichen Itza served as a major economic center, as well as a political hotspot, during its time of existence. When translated in the Mayan language, the name Chichen Itza means "At The Mouth of The Well of the Itza". Today, the city lies quietly in the landscape, but visitors will still be able to let their imaginations go and picture the bustle of the city and the hard labor that went into the construction of its buildings. There are paved roads between the structures and some of the buildings have been restored and maintained as well as possibly can be expected in regard to their age. For example, when visiting the Temple of Warriors, only the large intimidating columns that held up the roof, which did not survive the ages, can still be seen, including the carvings of warriors made on them. El Castillo is the most popular building at the site because of the display that the sun gives during certain times of the year. As the light of the sun catches the side of El Castillo, usually during the spring equinox, a snake is formed through the shadows and light cast on the steps.
Some of the other buildings that visitors can look forward to viewing is the Great Ballcourt, Sacred Cenote, Platform of Eagles and Jaguars, Tzompantli, Temple of Tables, Platform of Venus, Sache Number One, Group of a Thousand Columns, Cenote Sagrado, the Steam Bath and El Mercado. Visiting Chichen Itza is an experience that few will forget, as it allows visitors to travel back in time and experience the history of Mexico through the eyes of the ancient Mayan population.