Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mexico's Famous Ruins

There is so much to see in Mexico that it’s impossible to put it all into a blog. Incredible beaches and diving, tropical forests, historical sites, archeological sites, the National Museum of Art, the National Palace, Chapultepec Castle …the list goes on and on. Today I’m going to focus on ruins because…well, I like ruins. They’re old, they’re sometimes eerie, sometimes peaceful, always mysterious. You can’t be in the presence of a ruin without it stirring you in some way.

Two of Mexico’s most famous are Palenke (or Palenque) and Chichen Itza, both originally built by the Mayans.

The Palenke Ruins are close to the tropical forests of the foothills of the mountains in Chiapas. They are considered among the most important Mayan archaeological sites in all of Mexico and Central America. Most of the buildings were built before the tenth century AD. Hard to even imagine what life was like for the people working on those structures. One of the most fascinating ruins is the palace, with its walls and roof covered with mortar carved images of kings and gods. So far, only 34 buildings have been excavated, while there is believed to be around 500 hidden somewhere beneath the surface.

Chichen Itza is located in the Yucatan Peninsula and was once a major regional center for the Mayans. Interestingly, the land under the ruins was privately owned until March of this year! It is now owned by the state of Yucatan. If you go, you’ll see many stone buildings in various states of preservation. Some have even been restored. They are connected by a network of roads called sacbeob.

Next up….some interesting sites in Mexico City and one last Mexican recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Post...Love the The photos.
    Visited Mexico when I was about 13 years old. Very Beautiful and HUGE City! My Dad was born and raised in Mexico City, ...He even played very briefly for the PUMAS.