El Castillo o Templo de Kukulkan, Yucatan, Mexico (copyright 2007 BrownPride.com)

Templo de Kukulkan

This Mayan pyramid, also called the El Castillo, is the dominant building in the northern sector of the ancient city. Together with the Platform of Venus and the sacbe (white road) leading to the Sacred Cenote, it forms a compound representative of the religious and political power of the Itza people. At the time of the conquest, centuries after its construction, it had not diminished in importance, as evidenced by pilgrimages made by people from all over the Yucatan peninsula to pay homage to the rain gods and, probably to Itza ancestors. The size and symmetry of this pyramid lend it an imposing aspect despite its austere decoration. Inside it, there is an older structure known as the Temple of the Red Jaguar, which faces in the same direction and is perfectly preserved.

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