Chichen Itza the city of great Mayas
Chichen Itza (in Mayan language Yucatec Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha 'literally means "mouth of the well of Itza", a place at the mouth of the well of the people Itza) - one of the largest and, without doubt, the most famous cultural and political center of the Indians of Central America's pre-Columbian period. Mayans believed that the city was founded by the Kukulcan (known as the Aztec Quetzalcoatl), one of the most important Indian deities. Chichen Itza is recognized as one of the seven modern wonders of the world.
Chichen Itza is located in Mexico, in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, 1.5 km south of the small town of Piste on the highway that connects two largest cities in the northern Yucatan - Merida and Cancun.
Chichen Itza was founded by the Mayan Indians, according to legend by the tremendous people of Itza, which were the oldest of the Maya, in VII. It was one of the largest Mayan cities around the X century. The city is the capital of the Toltec, and the Toltec influence extends to almost the entire Yucatan. In the heyday of the population of Chichen Itza was up to 20 - 30 thousand people. By the end of the XIV century, the city was in decline and newly depopulated. Europeans, meaning conquistadors did not find the power of Chichen Itza and saw the city in ruins.
The most famous building of Chichen Itza is the pyramid of Kukulkan (in Spanish "El Castillo", ie, lock). It's almost 30-meter-high nine-pyramid with a square base. Length of the base is 55.5 m, the Pyramid is oriented to the cardinal points.
The side faces rising four broad stairs, each of which has 91 steps. Stairs going along the north side of the pyramid, at the bottom of the edges ending snake heads, which are a symbol of Kukulcan. If consider the platform on top of the pyramid, where the temple stands as one stage, the only pyramid 91 × 4 +1, that is 365 degrees, the number of days in the year. It is believed that the pyramid acted as a calendar.
Every year during the fall and spring equinox can see the unique effect of "feathered serpent": the step edges of the pyramid shadow falls on one of the staircases. This creates the impression that it slides down the serpent Kukulkan. Also in Chichen Itza there are "Temple of Warriors" on the low four-pyramid, the "Temple of jaguars," observatory "Caracol", "stadium" to play the ball, the ruins of four colonnades, forming a giant rectangle (the "Panel thousands of columns"), etc. on the territory of the city to the north of the central pyramid is "Sacred Cenote" (ie a well) or, as it is called, "The Well of Death" with a diameter of 60 m and a depth of 50 meters Here Mayan priests threw people brought by as a sacrifice to the gods.