Maya civilization.
Where can you see the ancient pyramids in Mexico?
Journeys | 26.06.2019
Mexico is an amazing country and not just because of the scenery, simple and tasty (and therefore so popular) cuisine and Cancún beach parties. This is the place where the Maya Indians built cities. There are many legends surrounding these ancient people: from the unknown cause of the civilization's decline to its connection with the new arrivals.

Despite the incredible stories, the existence of the Maya is a historical fact. This ancient people lived in the years 250-900 A.D, but during their time they already knew about the laws of physics, mathematics and astronomy. Scientists and researchers are amazed by the fact that, despite the antiquity, the Maya possessed extensive knowledge of space, knew with certainty how many days it took for the Earth to travel around the Sun, how long a year on Mars lasts, and where the planet Venus is located.

Mexico is one of several places on the planet where you can get closer acquainted with the culture of an ancient civilization. We'll tell you where it's worth going.
Chichén Itzá
The name of the main city of Maya is translated as "at the mouth of the well of the Itza". It was the centre of civilization on the Yucatán Peninsula, and scientists managed to find out that the city was built in the 5-6th century A.D. The remaining facts about the history of the city are just hypotheses that cannot be proved due to a lack of information. For example, it is still not known exactly why the city was abandoned.
The main building of Chichén Itzá is the pyramid of Kukulkan or El Castillo, which in Spanish means "castle". The pyramid of Kukulkan holds several secrets:

● The number of steps on all its sides along with the latter is 365, which is equal to the number of days per year. Some researchers claim that the pyramid was also used as a calendar.

● The base of the pyramid consists of 9 stone slabs, layered over each other, which makes the construction incredibly resistant to earthquakes. Some scientists argue that this is one of the reasons why the pyramid has been preserved so well.

● Twice a year, on 20th March and 21st September, the "descent of the Feathered Serpent" happens. Kukulkan, the main Mayan god, was depicted as a feathered serpent. Because of the well-thought-out geometric shape, on the day of the equinox, a shadow descends in a zigzag manner on top of the pyramid – a visual representation of the god Kukulkan. If the Maya had made a mistake by even one degree, this effect would not have happened.
One of the most interesting buildings in the city is an observatory (let's remember that the Mayan Indians lived in 1,000 BC), which is a completely modern form of a tower with a large dome for observing space.
Chichén Itzá is a large architectural ensemble with so many exciting things to see. We advise you to come early in the morning and spend the day here.
If you go on a beach holiday to Cancún, then you will not have to go to another part of Mexico to see the Mayan pyramids. Chichén Itzá is located 200km from the city. You can take a bus from Cancún station, and then travel a few kilometres by taxi.

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Uxmal
Another big city of the Maya civilization. The name Uxmal translates as "Built three times". According to the small amount of historical data that we have nowadays, we can conclude that the city was destroyed and rebuilt three times. Uxmal, like Chichen Itza, is relatively well preserved. Here you can see an interesting relief mosaic on buildings, which is made in Puuc style. In many reliefs you will see the mask of the rain god Chaac. There are over a hundred of his images around the city.
Just like in Chichén Itzá, there are many interesting buildings in the city. In Uxmal, there are two large pyramids: The Pyramid of the Magician or the Dwarf's House and the Great Pyramid. Both rise are above 30 metres.

The Pyramid of the Magician is called so because of a legend that a sorceress's son built a building in one night to prove his unique abilities. In fact, the pyramid was built in several stages. At first the temple was built, and then another, a tier above. The pyramid looks like a monolithic stone structure, but, in fact, there are five temples in its body. The pyramid is now closed to visitors because of the condition of the stairs. But on the Great Pyramid you can climb and look down at Uxmal from up high.
Also in the city there is a well-preserved governor's palace, a dovecote and a convent. The latter is so named not because there is any kind of historical data confirming its purpose. It's just that the first Europeans thought that the rooms were like cells. Some researchers argue that it was an educational institution, and the rooms, in fact, were classrooms.
If you want to see the characteristic Puuc style, then you have definitely come to the right place. Many buildings are decorated with mosaic panels, portraying images of animals and birds. There is still no exact information as to why the Maya left the city shortly before the invasion of the conquistadors. There were internal wars with other tribes for political superiority, due to droughts, or other causes.

You can reach Uxmal from the administrative centre of the Yucatan Peninsula – the city of Mérida. The ancient settlement is 68km away.

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Teotihuacán
Very little is known about this ancient city. The Aztecs who lived here arrived when it was just the ruins of an abandoned settlement. Who inhabited these places before remains unknown.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the most powerful building in the city. It is slightly smaller than the pyramid of Cheops. Excavations under the pyramid continue to discover evidence of the presence of Maya Indians in the city. The fact that Teotihuacán was a Mayan city is written in other sources.

The length of the face of the Pyramid of the Sun is 225 m. At the top is a flat platform on which a temple stood. Like other names of buildings in the city, the name of the Pyramid of the Sun was also given by the Aztecs.
The second big pyramid in Teotihuacán is the Pyramid of the Moon. It is also on a platform, but you cannot climb it. The excavations are still ongoing, and new details have been discovered relatively recently. In 2018, archaeologists discovered tunnels under the pyramid. According to assumptions, the underground tunnels were dug and symbolise the ideas ancient people had about the afterlife.

The city's main road is called "The Road of the Dead" and stretches from the Temple of the Feathered God to the square in front of the pyramid of the Moon. The citadel was situated in the centre of the city and was an important public space.
You can spend a lot of time studying Teotihuacán, especially if you like undiscovered secrets about the history of civilizations. The reason for the desolation of the city is also unknown. The people either left, or something made them leave the settlement, we do not know.

You can get to Teotihuacán from Mexico City. It's only 48 km away. You can get there by car or by bus signposted "Las Pirámides" or "Teotihuacán".

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