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Mayan Pyramid El Castillo at Chichen Itza

 
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:15 am    Post subject: Mayan Pyramid El Castillo at Chichen Itza Reply with quote

Has anyone visited this monument? It looks so beautiful in the photos I've seen.

I just love the planning that must have gone into a building like this--four staircases, each with 91 steps, plus the final platform, gives it 365 stairs, reflecting the Mayan's love for astronomy and calendars. Surprised

Are visitors allow to climb the pyramid staircases?

Also, I'm wondering as to the nature of the small building/room I can see at the top. What is it like inside?
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was there--some 15 years ago now--there was no restrictions about climbing the staircases. In fact, a chain had been intalled to help people "hoist" themseves up because of the steepness of the stairs.
An unique feature was pointed out to us, also. When the sun reaches a certain spot in the sky, shadows make the carving of the god that follows the stairs down to the ground from the top appears to undulate! Really a strange sensation seeing it happen!
At the top platform of the pyramid, the smal building is what is left of a temple that was there.
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been there a couple of times back in the '80s and early '90s. You could climb the pyramids back then, I don't know about now.

Chichen Itza is a fascinating site, part Mayan, part Toltec. The Ball Court is enormous. Across the road are the older, more Mayan parts of the ceremonial center including the ancient observatory El Caracol and several large temples. I got stuck on top of one of those temples during a thunderstorm--what an experience!

I haven't been back although I've been tempted to go there in time for that date in 2012 when the world's supposed to end just to watch the fun.
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I got stuck on top of one of those temples during a thunderstorm--what an experience!



Yikes!
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Unas
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I was there--some 15 years ago now--there was no restrictions about climbing the staircases. In fact, a chain had been intalled to help people "hoist" themseves up because of the steepness of the stairs.


So, I take it that climbing the stairs requires a bit of athletic ability. Approximately how long do you suppose it takes to reach the summit?

This may have to go on my list of "things to do someday!" Smile Thanks for sharing.
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unas wrote:
Quote:
I got stuck on top of one of those temples during a thunderstorm--what an experience!



Yikes!


Mayan pyramids have stone temples with corbelled arch roofs on top of them. I was out of the rain and I think pretty safe. That being said watching the sky blacken and the lightning flash around the jungle with the tops of the pyramids sticking out over the trees was an unworldly experience.

I did pour out a little of my drinking water as a libation to the rain god Chac. Since I think he preferred human hearts I don't know if he listened to my prayer or not but at least I didn't get struck by lighning.
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stephaniep
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't climb El Castillo now. They're in the process of closing off most of the pyramids that used to be accessible for climbing at most of the sites.

Naunacht wrote:
Quote:
I did pour out a little of my drinking water as a libation to the rain god Chac. Since I think he preferred human hearts I don't know if he listened to my prayer or not but at least I didn't get struck by lighning.


I guess he did listen. An archaelogist (I forgot who) died by lightening on one of the pyramids. I did wonder if he was a conquistador in another life. Limestone is very slippery when wet. Tikal used to get a blood sacrifice every few years when someone slipped off & died. They close them now when rainy & are putting wooden steps off the side to climb up.
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stephaniep wrote:
You can't climb El Castillo now. They're in the process of closing off most of the pyramids that used to be accessible for climbing at most of the sites.

Naunacht wrote:
Quote:
I did pour out a little of my drinking water as a libation to the rain god Chac. Since I think he preferred human hearts I don't know if he listened to my prayer or not but at least I didn't get struck by lighning.


I guess he did listen. An archaelogist (I forgot who) died by lightening on one of the pyramids. I did wonder if he was a conquistador in another life. Limestone is very slippery when wet. Tikal used to get a blood sacrifice every few years when someone slipped off & died. They close them now when rainy & are putting wooden steps off the side to climb up.


It can be dangerous and the steps are slippery when wet. At Palenque, I understand they lost a few tourist/seekers/hippies who'd ingested few too many of the local psychadelic mushrooms and proceded to climb the pyramids in the moonlight seeking a commune with the gods. Well I guess they did commune with the gods but not in the way they intended.

My husband & I once helped a woman who developed a panic attack on top of the Temple of the Magican at Uxmal. We got her down. My husbands training as a psychological counselor came in handy. Her husband apparently got fed up with her and left her there. Funny thing, they were on their honeymoon. Wonder how long that marriage lasted.
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dzama923
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To reply to Unas, it took me, my sister, and my mom about 5 minutes to get to the top of the chichenitza temple. It takes about the same to get down, but you have to get down and sit on each step. It is steep.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
To reply to Unas, it took me, my sister, and my mom about 5 minutes to get to the top of the chichenitza temple. It takes about the same to get down, but you have to get down and sit on each step. It is steep.


I visited it also in 2014 and my wife fainted due to the heat that day.

Tip: bring a hat.
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