Kukulkan pyramid

Kukulkan pyramid
Almost halfway between Mérida and Cancún, on the airy esplanade from the low jungle of the Yucatán Península, the Kukulkan pyramid represents the centre of the …More
Almost halfway between Mérida and Cancún, on the airy esplanade from the low jungle of the Yucatán Península, the Kukulkan pyramid represents the centre of the architectural complex Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan city, invaded by the Toltec warriors from the tenth century, coming from their capital, Tula - central Mexico today. In the sun or in the shade of clouds, the harmony of this pyramid in steps, with a height of 24 m, seems really perfect: the four -sided stone tilts with finesse to the horizons and the small platform top is a temple (with height 6 m) dedicated to the cult of the god Kukulkan - the feathered serpent or Quetzalcóatl. The faces are made up of nine terraces, each with 52 boxes decorated flat, rectangular. A series of 91 steps cut narrow middle of each of the four sides of the pyramid, sandwiched between linear rails. The North side of the building, however, has a particularity: at the encounter with the earth, the two rails end in two large statues carved in stone, the snake heads representing the god Kukulkan.
The composition of the pyramid determines the start of the count: 18 sections of an upper terraces - the 18 months of the Mayan solar calendar ; 52 boxes for what the Mayans considered " century" by combining the sacred with the solar calendar ; 364 steps ( 91x4 ) plus platform - number of days in the solar calendar. Although the pyramid served to the Kukulkan cult, the numerological interpretations and the very clear data about the Mayans' knowledge of astronomy, put it directly related to the sun worship. Access to the pyramid was banned a few years ago to avoid irreversible damage. However, because of the slight distance from the square base, the proportionality of the architectural elements is best admired.
But what turns out to be the highlight of the pyramid gathers twice a year thousands of visitors to Chichén Itzá: the symbolic lowering of the feathered Serpent, an extraordinary effect of light observed for ten minutes in the days of equinox, March 20 and September 21 at around 3 pm. The sunlight gradually forms off the northwest face, a sequence of seven triangles of light that fills gradually the descending line, like the body of a snake. Once it arrives at the base, this "snake" is completed by the union with the carved head Kukulkan, likely to play the leading role in agrarian rituals, deeply connected to the rhythm of nature. Another great detail of the pyramid, still the subject of scientific controversy, impresses the audience: the echo formed on the north side of the row of steps. If one claps, it feels like the sound hits the stones and generates the cry of the Quetzal bird, symbolizing the Mayans' creative force, uniting with the serpent god Kukulkan personification.
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