Palenque is a Mayan city located in what today is the Mexican state of Chiapas, near the Usumacinta River. It is one of the most impressive sites of the Mayan culture and stands out for its architectural and sculptural heritage.
The area discovered until 2002 covers 2,5 km². It is estimated that less than a 10% of the total surface of the city has been explored, leaving over one thousand structures covered by the jungle. In 1991 Palenque was designated “Protected Area”; the UNESCO declared it World Heritage Site in 1987.
Named for the stucco panels with engravings in Maya script recounting the site’s dynastic history. In 1948 a hidden passage in the temple’s floor was found which leads down to a burial chamber of one of Palenque’s most important rulers, Hanab Pakal.
A complex of interconnected buildings and courtyards housing sculptures and bas-relief carvings as well as the site’s distinctive four-story tower.
Formed by the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun, and the Temple of the foliated cross. This is a group of temples on step pyramids, each with elaborate reliefs inside. The crosses which allude to the names of the temples, are actually representations of the tree of creation found in the center of the world according to Mayan mythology. The Temple of the Cross still retains the stonework, a draft atop the wall structure.
Inside was the center dash (now displayed at the National Museum of Anthropology) having a representation of the earth monster, from which springs a corn plant. On the floor, flanked by two human figures, inn is a fantastic bird. Temple of the foliated cross has lost its facade, and only the second bay is kept full.
It is a domed structure three feet high, leading to Otulum river below the main square of Palenque, in the section that corresponds to the eastern facade of the Palace. The aqueduct is complemented by a stone bridge built downstream in the place known as Queen’s Bath at the north end of the main group.
It is located 200 m south of the main group. It owes its name to the elaborate bas-relief, now destroyed, representing a king seated on a throne in the form of a two-headed jaguar.
It was named for Waldeck, who inhabited it during your stay in Palenque, and, among other extravagances, was credited himself the title of Count (other times assumed the titles of Baron and Duke). The elegant building has a stepped base five bodies. At the top, is a temple that retains all of its original architectural features.
Two parallel platforms formed the structure for the ball game. However, exploration and consolidation is still required.
Yaxchilán (also sometimes historically referred to by the names Menché and City Lorillard) is an ancient Maya city located on the bank of the Usumacinta River in what is now the state of Chiapas, Mexico. In the Late Classic Period Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Maya states along the course of the Usumacinta, with Piedras Negras as its major rival. Architectural styles in subordinate sites in the Usumacinta region demonstrate clear differences that mark a clear boundary between the two kingdoms.
Yaxchilan was a large center, important throughout the Classic era, and the dominant power of the Usumacinta River area. It dominated such smaller sites as Bonampak, and had a long rivalry with Piedras Negras and at least for a time with Tikal; it was a rival of Palenque, with which Yaxchilan warred in 654.
The site is particularly known for its well-preserved sculptured stone lintels set above the doorways of the main structures. These lintels, together with the stelae erected before the major buildings, contain hieroglyphic texts describing the dynastic history of the city.
The ancient name for the city was probably Pa’ Chan. Yaxchilan means «green stones» in Maya.
OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN PALENQUE: