Palenque in Photos

Even when I barely knew Mexico as a tourism destination, the name Palenque sounded familiar. Rightfully so, it’s one of the most important sites for Mayan history. The city of Palenque in Chiapas state was a Maya city in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th country. The ruins date back from 226 BC to AD 799. It was buried into the nearby jungle after the decline, but it was excavated and restored to Palenque to this day. It’s known for its exceptionally elegant craftsmanship of the construction as well as the sculpted reliefs illustrating Mayan mythology.

Planck became a UNESCO World Heritage site;

“Palenque is an incomparable achievement of Mayan art. The structures are characterized by fineness and a lightness which resulted from the new construction techniques and drainage methods that were developed in order to reduce the thickness of the walls. The expanded interior space, multiple openings, and the use of galleries give the architecture a rare elegance, richly decorated with sculptures and stucco of a type never previously seen. Its influence was considerable throughout the basin of the Usumacinta, extending even as far away as Comalcalco, on the western border of the Mayan cultural zone.”

To this day, only half a mile has been excavated out of 25 square miles.

Temple of the InscriptionsTemple of the Inscriptions

Temple of the Inscriptions

The “Pyramid”, or the Temple of the Inscriptions, is the largest Mesoamerican step pyramid. It was a funerary monument. The Temple records roughly 180 years of the history. The temple houses the second longest glyphic text known from the Maya world.

The Palace, located in the center of the ancient city is a complex of several buildings and courtyards, used for Mayan performances, ceremonies, and official functions.

The Temple of Sun, the Temple of the Cross, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross are a set of temples on the top of pyramids. These temples contains elaborately carved relief in the inner chambers. The temples are named because of the cross-like images in the reliefs which is the tree of creation at the center of the world in Mayan mythology.

Once going through a thick jungle, you’ll face the giant step pyramid through the opening. There’s no doubt why this place has been the object of interest of travelers, explorers, and researchers since 18th century. It’s one of the finest ruins where you can see one of the most significant achievements of mankind on the American continent.

Temple of the Inscriptions

The Palace Observation TowerThe Palace Observation Tower

The Corbel archThe Corbel arch

bas-relief featuring two noblemen flanking the ruler K'an Balam II

Patio de los Cautivos: Limestone reliefs representing prisoners from nearby citiesPatio de los Cautivos: Limestone reliefs representing prisoners from nearby cities

Temple of the Count, The PalaceTemple of the Count, The Palace

2 thoughts on “Incomparable achievement of Mayan Art: Palenque in Photos”

  1. Great photos! I’ve always been fascinated by Mayan architecture. I have been planning a trip to mexico to do some sight seeing of my own. I think i might work this place into the itinerary.

  2. You take some pretty wonderful pictures, Juno. I was thinking that the sky might be totally overcast until you showed it near the end. Was it early in the day when you took these? I figure it was either that or near the end of the day, but the clouds helped I bet. I love following your stories and just wanted to say hello. Also, I lived in Korea for a while (Yeosu) and see that you’re from there. Small world, huh? Anyway, thanks for sharing this. Looking forward to more!

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