Amazing Things

AMAZING Ancient Temples That Still Exist Today

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Pyramid Of The Magician

5- Pyramid Of The Magician

 

Photo credit: Rob Young

Uxmal, which means “built thrice,” is a destroyed Mayan city in Yucatan, Mexico. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. One of its major landmarks is the “Pyramid of the Magician,” which is also called the “House of the Dwarf” because of the belief that it was built by a dwarf who hatched from an egg. According to legend, the dwarf grew into an adult in a day and built the pyramid in a night. In reality, the pyramid was constructed in the sixth century.

Standing an impressive 35 meters (115 ft) tall, the pyramid is the biggest building in Uxmal. It actually contains several temples that were built before the pyramid itself was erected—it wasn’t uncommon for the Maya to construct new buildings on top of older ones. Temple IV—one of the temples at the top of the pyramid—has 12 masks hung around its doorway. The masks were originally believed to represent Chac, the god of rain, but this has been disputed.

Another temple at the top, Temple V, was built around A.D. 1000. It might have been inspired by the Governor’s Palace, which stood nearby.

Temple Of The Inscriptions

6- Temple Of Inscriptions

Photo credit: Rob Young

The Temple of the Inscriptions is another Mayan temple built on top of a pyramid that was erected between A.D. 672 and 682. The 20-meter-tall (66 ft) temple has four pillars decorated with the image of several adults carrying a deformed child who has a snake-like leg with six toes.

The name of the temple was derived from the three tablets inside, which are marked with Mayan glyphs and date as far back as A.D. 692. One is inscribed with the names of early Mayan kings before King Pakal, while another gives information about the life of Pakal himself. They also give information about the future—the year 4772, to be exact. The temple also contains one of the most popular iconographic monuments in Mayan history: the lid of a stone coffin showing Pakal falling into the world below at the time of his death.

The town of Palenque—where the Temple of the Inscriptions stands—was abandoned completely forgotten until 1773, when it was discovered, lost, and discovered again. No one knows its real Mayan name. The name it bears today came from the neighboring village of Santo Domingo de Palenque.

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