Mayan Pyramid of the Magician, the Yucatan, Mexico

Notable to Mexico and familiar to most people, by way of photographic images in travel magazines, are the amazing pyramids and their singular design features. Mexico’s Pyramid of the Magician is perhaps one of the most famous of these structures and one of the most massive pyramids in Mesoamerica, an amazing wonder due to the shear construction effort that it entailed. It is the largest building in the pre-Columbian city of Uxmal as well.

 

The Pyramid of the Magician
The Pyramid of the Magician

Likely built between 700 and 1000 AD, El Advino, the local name given to the pyramid, is central to this ancient city of the Mayans.. The complex of Uxmal was home to at least

25,000 citizens at its zenith. The center building is located on the eastern side of the city, so that its western-facing stairway is facing the setting sun. UNESCO designated the site as a World Heritage point, calling it the pinnacle of late Mayan architecture.

 

Uxmal mexico

The Pyramid of the Magician is approximately 115 feet high, though this measurement is disputed; by many estimates it reaches over 130 feet in height. The base measures 227 feet long by 162 feet wide, and is unique from other structures of the time period due to its rounded sides, steep slope, and the fact that its base is elliptical in shape rather than rectangular or square. The name comes from a Maya folk legend which tells of a trickster god named Itzamna who supposedly built the entire structure overnight.

It took three centuries to actually complete the pyramid, which was done in multiple phases. The oldest structure at the base of the pyramid dates to approximately 500 AD, and decorated with the masks of the rain god, Chaac. Fascinatingly, the structure is actually multiple temples nestled within each other, with 5 excavated so far. The final one, at the very top, dates to the ninth century.

 

Categories: Abacos, Mexico, Yucatan

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