Uxmal

Posted September 27th, 2011 by Leah in Merida, Mexico

Last Saturday we visited our first site of mayan ruins!  Maite, the teacher for the art and architecture class (which I am not taking), was our guide for the day which was great because she knew so much about how the pyramids were constructed and why they were made the way they were.  Uxmal means “thrice-built” in mayan and reflects the way the mayans would build temples and other structures on top of others, creating a layered effect.  The largest pyramid, “the pyramid of the magician” still stands 117 feet tall and is three different layers.  Unfortunately it was under maintenance and so we could not climb it…

They pyramids were covered in images of the god of water “Chac” because Uxmal has no source of water.   They stored rain water in “chultunes” or little wells built into the structures.  Their depictions of Chac was their method of constantly praying for water.

We were able to climb all the other pyramids and structures which was really fun – and tiring!  It is loco to think that these ruins used to be part of an enormous flourishing civilization.  Uxmal was one of the largest mayan cities in the Yucatán.  At its height, it was home to 25,000 Maya!