Mexico – Chichen Itza
Our great adventure trip this year started in February in Mexico and from the beginning, we immersed ourselves in the Maya culture with the first visit at Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza is the Modern Wonder of the New World, the best-preserved archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The main temple, ‘El Castillo’, a 24 m high pyramid was dedicated to Kukulkan, the Maya representation of the god Quetzalcoatl. Its height and striking geometry dominate the whole site. As we know, Mayans were very good astronomers, and their calendar was very similar to what we are using today.
For the people who would like a bit of trivia, here it is: The number of steps of the pyramid is 91 on each of the four sites plus one at the top, which makes 365 days/ year. Mayans periods (months) were only nine, therefore the number of steps of the pyramid.
The most striking for me was ‘The Observatory’ or ‘El Caracol’ (The Snail) – called that because of the spiral staircase – was an astronomical observatory in the times of Maya. You can actually recognize the shape of a modern astronomical observatory! The various slits in the walls correspond to the positions of certain celestial bodies on key dates in Maya Calendar.