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The world is a beautiful place and with this blog I hope to inspire others to see more of it in a conscious way – whether it be virtually or in real life. The historic region of Mesoamerica comprises the modern day countries of northern Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, and central to southern Mexico. Let us find out some interesting facts about Chichen Itza: The Pyramid of Kukulkán was constructed around 700 – 1300 AD. The newest parts, the visible and largest of the pyramids, dates back to around 1050-1300 AD. Scientists have compared El Castillo, Kukulkan’s Pyramid, to the Russian nesting dolls designs. Archaeologists have unearthed treasures from the pyramid: El Castillo is the largest pyramid located in. It is nicknamed "The Castle". When the top level of the pyramid is included, the total number of steps at El Castillo adds up to 365, the number of days in a year. Moreover, it is dedicated to Kukulkan, the Plumed Serpent. As I grew older, I discovered that various other civilizations such as Olmec, Maya, Aztec and Inca built similar structures to house their deities and rulers. Each of the four sides of the pyramid has a staircase that leads to a temple at the top. The Pyramid of Kukulkán is not the tallest pyramid the people of Maya built. Each staircase is made up of 91 steps. This pyramid temple is called the Temple of Kukulkan or the El Castillo. Join Curiosmos on Telegram Today. The structure itself takes the form of a sacred mountain, believed by the ancient Maya to be a portal to the heavens. Kukulkán, the God that El Castillo is believed to be dedicated to, had the form of a feathered serpent. I’m a multilingual Finnish girl with an unquenchable thirst for exploring and learning more about different cultures. This was a temple-pyramid dedicated to the Feathered Serpent God, Kukulcan. Other articles where El Castillo is discussed: Chichén Itzá: …of such major buildings as El Castillo (“The Castle”), a pyramid that rises 79 feet (24 metres) above the Main Plaza. The Pyramid of El Castillo in Chichén Itzá was built to reflect the Mayan astronomical year. 5,000-Year-Old Crystal Dagger Discovered In Spain Mystifies Experts, This Pyramid City In Peru Predates Egypt’s Oldest Pyramid And The Incas By 4,000 Years, Newly-Discovered Comet Heading Our Way Could Become Brightest Comet in Decades, 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘Khufu’s Ship’, the Ancient Vessel Buried in front of the Pyramids, Have Aliens Built This 3-Sided Pyramid on Mars? Photo: The Temple of Kukulkán has become the symbol of Chichen Itzá and is certainly the most photographed of the buildings in this ancient Mayan city. El Castillo, is Spanish and means “The Castle”. The most recognizable structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. Visit Chichen Itzá and you’ll without a doubt hear someone demonstrating this effect. During the spring and autumnal equinoxes, shadows cast by the setting sun give the appearance of a snake undulating down the stairways. Why does this old building continue to fascinate visitors over a thousand years after it was built? Chichen Itza is the 2nd most visited Archeological Site in México, just so you know, the #1 is Teotihuacán in the state of México. The most well-known structure at Chichén Itzá is the pyramid called El Castillo, built around 800 CE. This is why it’s no longer possible to climb up to the top. Each side has 91 steps with a final step at the top, so there are 365 steps total. That’s why it’s also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkán or the Temple of … I still remember gravitating towards a small book in my school’s library that explained a bit about the pyramids of Eygpt. Welcome aboard, now let’s go explore! The Pyramid of Kukulcan or Kukulkan (also known as El Castillo, a name given by the Spanish Conquistadors) is the centre of Chichen Itza, it was built over a preexisting temple between 800 and 900 CE. Each of El Castillo’s four sides has 91 steps which, when added together and including the temple platform, equals the 365 days of the solar year. However, the building was never really a castle, nor a fortress, as the Spaniards assumed. Don't worry, we don't send spam. The great pyramid of Giza was the first ancient structure I read about. A woman tragically fell to her death in 2006. The temple, called Castillo, is about 1 km in diameter. Have something to add? At the center of Osario is an opening that leads to a natural cave. Moreover, it is dedicated to Kukulkan, the Plumed Serpent. The Temple of Kukulkan or El Castillo is a step pyramid that exhibits the precision and importance of Mayan astronomy. El Castillo is a great example of the unbelievably precise mathematic, astronomic and architectural knowledge the ancient Mayans had. Here are some facts that will help you understand the true magic of this ancient pyramid. This particular complex explains quite a bit about the Maya and Toltec concept of the universe, which was basically linked to the night skies of the Yucatán Peninsula. For example, the pyramid has four sides, each with its own set of stairways. Researchers believe that it could help us understand the Mayan culture’s original style and customs. Hello and thanks for visiting my Travel Empire! El Castillo (The Kukulkan Pyramid), a square-based, stepped pyramid that is approximately 75 feet tall. El Castillo is a whopping 79 feet high and that's 29 metres, above the main plaza. The stairs are constructed so that each year, during autumn and spring equinox, the shadow falls at an angle that makes it look like a serpent body connecting to the stone heads at the bottom. This pyramid is so well constructed, it has a step for every day of the year - 365! Towering over the historical site of Chichen Itzá, El Castillo has quickly become the modern-day symbol of this ancient Mayan metropolis that today is one of the seven modern wonders of the world. The oldest parts might even date back as far as 550 AD! The Pyramid of Kukulcan or El Castillo-- the most famous landmark of Chichen Itza. The oldest parts might even date back as far as 550 AD. The Osario is another Step Pyramid very similar to El Castillo, only smaller in size. Even in the Yucatán peninsula, El Castillo can’t claim to be the highest pyramid (the title goes to the 42-metre high Nohoch Mul in Cobá). My name is Jael. The sides collectively have a total of 91 steps. The early Spaniards called it El Castillo, meaning the Castle. There’s also a Chac-mool; a Mayan stone sculpture of a reclining figure used in sacrificial rituals. Interestingly, in the late afternoon sun, during both the autumn and spring equinoxes, the … Discovered as recently as in 2016, the larger, newer pyramid was built on top of an older, smaller one (check out this article on CNN about this). The serpents residing in the pyramid are considered guardians of the ancient structure. The pyramid, however, bears no resemblance to a castle and was instead used for religious and astronomical observation purposes. 9.-The Ball court located to the north-west of the Pyramid “El Castillo” It is the largest and best-preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. Instead, it’s believed to have been constructed in honour of the serpent deity Kukulkán. Chichen Itza was built to be the center of political, economic and cultural power of the Mayan civilization. It is the biggest pyramid in Chichen Itza; at its base 53.3 meters wide on all four sides. El Castillo, the Pyramid of Kukulkan. Photo: Seeing the Pyramid of Kukulkán for the first time will leave you feeling small and in awe. Here are ten fascinating facts you need to know about El Castillo, the pyramid of Chichén Itzá: 1) It was constructed on rough terrain: Chichén Itzá was built in an area of rough territory that was balanced by the people of Maya to accommodate larger structures such as El Castillo. I still remember gravitating towards a small book in my school’s library that explained a bit about the pyramids of Eygpt. For thousands of years, this area was populated by groups such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec peoples. Please consider turning off Ad-Block. Get our content delivered to your email. Also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkán, the structure embodies Mayan myth along with natural astronomical cycles. This was one of the most stunning facts about Chichen Itza that I discovered during my research. This however, remains disputed. The newest parts date back to around 1050 – 1300 AD. Join the discussion and participate in awesome giveaways in our mobile Telegram group. The structures of the olden days fascinate me for some unfathomable reason. El Castillo has four sides, each with 91 stairs and facing a cardinal direction; including the step on the top platform, these combine for a total of 365 steps—the… Hi, we understand that enjoy and Ad-free experience while surfing the internet, however, many sites, including ours, depend on ads to continue operating and producing the content you are reading now. In 2015, archaeologists discovered that the older pyramid might be sitting on top of a cenote. Here the beautiful pyramid stands seen from the giant Ball Court. The most well-known structure at Chichén Itzá is the pyramid called El Castillo, built around 800 CE. Before access to the throne room of the pyramid was restricted, you could climb to the top and, on a clear day, … There is another pyramid underneath El Castillo. The pyramid of El Castillo is unique since it is one of the world pyramids that features a hidden secret; there’s another pyramid (the substructure) inside the pyramid we see today. About 125 km west of Cancun and Cozumel, it is the Sacred Cenote, a deep sinkhole that the Mayans used for religious ceremonies, sacrifices to the Gods and more. They appear when you call them; none have attacked any tourists as of yet. Clap once at the foot of the stairs on the North side and the pyramid will answer you with the sound of a bird’s chirp! From the outside you’d never know, but underneath the pyramid is actually another pyramid. Photo: Clapping at the bottom of the pyramid produces a sound that’s surprisingly similar to that of a bird’s chirp. . El Castillo is the largest pyramid located in Chichén Itzá. All you have to do is clap once while standing at the foot of the stairs on the Northside of the pyramid, and the structure will respond with the sound of a bird’s chirp. This gives the illusion of a serpent crawling down the stairs. Experts have not been able to discover an accurate year or era as of yet. This celebrated Mayan site may not be exclusively Mayan. El Castillo means the ‘castle’ in the Spanish language. Built on top of an older structure, the 24m- (79ft-) high pyramid was dedicated to Kukulcan, a Mayan snake god. El Castillo / Temple of Kukulcan / Pixabay 4. In the smaller pyramid’s temple, there is a red jaguar divan with checkered spots and eyes of jade. Here are ten fascinating facts you need to know about El Castillo, the pyramid of Chichén Itzá: Chichén Itzá was built in an area of rough territory that was balanced by the people of Maya to accommodate larger structures such as El Castillo. Only after that it is believed to have fallen. 11. El Castillo, is Spanish and means “The Castle”. At the bottom of the staircase on the North side of the pyramid are two snakeheads, carved out of stone. This was the name the Spanish conquistadors gave the pyramid when they arrived in the ancient civilisation. The temple has 365 steps—one for each day of the year. In the smaller pyramid’s temple there’s a red jaguar throne with inlaid spots and eyes of jade. t.me/Curiosmos. Why? 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Pyramid of Chichén Itzá, The structures of the olden days fascinate me for some unfathomable reason. The substructure (or better said one of the substructures) inside El Castillo is 10 meters tall and is built at the core of the pyramid. It also depicts the influence of the Toltecs, who invaded and merged two cultural traditions and beliefs. The great. Although it certainly isn’t the only must-see sight in Chichen Itzá, it’s for sure the most photographed. That’s why it’s also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkán or the Temple of Kukulkán. Built on top of an older structure, the 79ft- (24m-) high pyramid was dedicated to Kukulcan, a Mayan snake god. Tourists, or visitors, were once able to climb some of the pyramids, but it was quite challenging because the steps are very steep and small. The book itself was not deep as it was for 5th graders, but it gave me sufficient information regarding the construction process of the pyramids. We are committed to reducing the number of ads shown on the site. This glorious step pyramid demonstrates the accuracy … Climbing is no longer permitted. It’s still pretty impressive, standing in the middle of a grassy plaza. The most recognisable structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. Scientists have compared El Castillo (Kukulkan’s Pyramid) to the Russian nesting dolls. Even in the Yucatán peninsula, El Castillo can’t claim to be the highest pyramid. The workings … During the equinoxes, when the late-afternoon sun hits El Castillo's northwest corner, triangular shadows cascade down the balustrade and end at a decorative serpent's head, creating the look of a feathered serpent slithering down the pyramid. Spanish conquerors gave this name to the pyramid when they initially discovered the ancient Maya civilization. 11.-The Osario is another Step Pyramid very similar to El Castillo, only smaller in size. The Temple of Kukulkan, the Feathered Serpent God (also known as Quetzalcoatl to the Toltecs and Aztecs) is the largest and most important ceremonial structure at Chichen Itza. Although experts are debating whether or not this was done intentionally – if done intentionally it’s definitely proof the ancient Mayans knew a thing or two about acoustic engineering. El Castillo has four sides, each with 91 stairs and facing a cardinal direction; including the step on the top platform, these combine for a total of 365 steps—the number of days in the solar year. The Pyramid was constructed so that it marks the equinoxes—the two days of the year when there are equal amounts of day and night. It towers above the other monuments at 24 meters tall with a 6-meter temple on top of the highest platform. An interesting fact about the temple of Kukulcan is that it’s built on top of another, much older temple. When I’m not travel blogging I work as a journalist and travel writer. 10.-Chichen Itza has a platform dedicated to the planet Venus located north of El Castillo. Join the discussion and participate in awesome giveaways in our mobile Telegram group. The cenote under the pyramid is estimated to be 20 metres deep. Watch this Youtube video to see what this amazing effect looks like! According to experts, there are at least two pyramids, but there might be more. El Castillo represents mathematical, astronomical and architectural knowledge of the ancient people of Maya. In the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza sits a pyramid called Kukulcan, also known as El Castillo. The meaning of Chichen Itza comes from the Maya Yucateco uchi’ch’e’enitza’, the “City of the Itáes”. The Pyramid of Kukulkán was built around 700-1300 AD during the Classic and Post-Classic Mayan eras. Experts are still trying to find more about the ancient site. Hence, in today’s article, I shall be shedding light on the pyramids built by the Maya and Toltec civilizations. Photo: At 25 metres, El Castillo is high enough to tower over the other buildings at Chichen Itzá. The sides all have a total of 91 steps. For example, the pyramid has four sides, each with its own set of stairways. Join Curiosmos on Telegram Today. Together with a final step at the top of the pyramid, leading to a small temple, you get a grand total of 365. The exact amount of days in one year of the Mayan calendar (and yes, it’s pretty close to our modern day calendar!). Archaeologists have long known that this mysterious structure hides a second pyramid within its walls, but new technology has unearthed something strange: a third pyramid inside the second. Here’s an article published in the Daily Mail about this finding. built similar structures to house their deities and rulers. Today, the pyramid has several names. Twice a year, during autumn and spring equinox, the pyramid hosts a show that still today attracts thousands of spectators. It is still unclear how many pyramids there actually are, but some are even likening El Castillo to a Russian nestling doll (according to an expert interviewed in this article by The Guardian). Kukulkan Pyramid was built for astronomical purposes and during the vernal equinox (March 20) and the autumnal equinox (September 21) at about 3pm the sunlight bathes the western balustrade of the pyramid's main stairway. 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Inside the older pyramid archaeologists have made some significant discoveries. The clusters which are most popular are, the Ossario Group, the Old Chichen, the Central Group, and the Great North Platform. Check out this Belgian study about the bird chirp effect here. The larger pyramid was constructed on top of an older one. El Castillo is easily identified in pictures and consists of a series of square terraces that feature stairways running up each of the four sides of the pyramid, leading to the top. Archaeologists have discovered thirteen ball courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza. There is also a Chac-Mool; an ancient stone sculpture of a reclining figure used in sacrificial ceremonies. Visit Curiosmos on Facebook. However, the building was never really a castle, nor a fortress, as the Spaniards assumed. 7. according to an expert interviewed in this article by The Guardian, Here’s an article published in the Daily Mail, Ngorongoro and the Great Migration – Experiencing Some …. This picture is just to demonstrate, the sound can only be heard clapping at the pyramid’s North side, not this side (which is the East side). Photo: Even on a rainy day Chichen Itzá is beautiful, with the Pyramid of Kukulkán as the undisputed symbol of this ancient Mayan city. Each of the four sides of the pyramid has a staircase that leads to a temple at the top. The city was in full life in the 600 AD, and was economically strong and grew as a capital between 600 and 1050 AD. The names are all used in parallel manner when referring to the pyramid. At 25 metres high, the Pyramid of Kukulkán is by no means the tallest pyramid the ancient Mayans built. Instead, it’s believed to have been constructed in honour of the serpent deity Kukulkán. However, the building was never a castle, nor a fortress. There are at least two pyramids, but there might even be more! The ancient structures of Chichén Itzá were sacred to the Maya and were a core of their empire from approximately 750 to 1200 A.D. There are many temples and pyramids at Chichen Itza. Each staircase is made up of 91 steps. My passport might claim I’m 32, but my heart says forever 24. Sculptures of the Feathered Serpents run down the sides of the northern staircase, and are set off by shadows from the corner tiers on the Spring and Fall equinox. The pyramid also features sculptures of plumed serpents that appear to run down the sides of the northern balustrade of the structure. It must have taken them years to build the pyramid as the area surrounding the colossal structure is still quite uneven. This Kukulkán Pyramid, also known as El Castillo is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. El Castillo also referred to as the “Temple of Kukulcan,” is about 30 meters high (98 ft) and the 4 sides are about 55.3 meters long (181 ft). The Step Pyramid at Chichen Itza Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, crowned by temple was part of one of the greatest Mayan centers. The smallest pyramid was probably built during the original Mayan reign before the Toltec invasion. El Castillo—in Spanish, “the castle”—looms at the center of Chichén Itzá, a 79-foot pyramid of stone. The smallest pyramid was built during the original Mayan reign before the Toltec invasion. This was the name the Spanish conquistadors gave the pyramid when they arrived in the ancient civilisation. It’s also high enough. Who knows what we’ll discover in the future? The phenomenon that El Castillo is famous for occurs twice … 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. El Castillo's Famous Snake May Have Been Unintentional Tourists love to visit Chichén Itzá during the spring and autumn equinoxes to watch for the snake. You get a total of 365 steps if you include one final step leading to the top of the pyramid. Scientists Spot Chimps Doing Mystery Ritual: Have They Entered Their Own Stone Age? What makes El Castillo, or the Pyramid of Kukulkán, so special? These structures in Chichen Itza were not just beautiful buildings but also served as calendars, hence the steps being numbered in terms of a year like El Castillo. Nesting dolls designs power of the serpent deity Kukulkán been constructed in honour of the World the original Mayan before! 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