Saturday, October 25, 2014

UXMAL, YUCATAN: Maya Pyramid and Amazing Light Show

JON AND TERRY IN UXMAL, YUCATAN
UXMAL, A MAGNIFICENT MAYA CITY ON THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
     Uxmal is an important archaeological site in the Maya world. It was discovered in a good state of preservation and has been carefully studied and restored. It is representative of the region’s main style of architecture prior to the Spanish Invasion. The city of Uxmal was built around 900 AD when it was the capital of the Maya state. The largest and most impressive buildings are the Pyramid of the Magician and the Governor’s Palace.
      We were very glad that we hired an English speaking tour guide to give us a private tour around the grounds. He was extremely knowledgeable about Maya symbols in the architecture, so he was able to point out details we would have never seen and
explained their meaning. He showed us the symbolic sculptures of Chaac, the
god of rain, explaining that life revolved around rain and its importance in
THE PYRAMID OF THE MAGICIAN
growing their crops of corn. Some of the other engraved symbols included entwined snakes, two headed snakes, feathered serpents with open fangs, two-headed jaguars, turtles, the Maya symbol for infinity, a circular depiction of a snake with his head to his tail, and many other carvings in the limestone depicting Maya homes and life. Our guide also pointed out the significance of the design and positioning of each building in relation to the stars and the sun. The Maya studied astrology and incorporated it into their daily life. The Maya Calendar, based on astrology, is still considered the most sophisticated calendar ever created, important to them for the timing of planting and harvesting the crops of corn.

     One of the highlights of our day at Uxmal was the evening light show. After sunset, we gathered with hundreds of other
UXMAL PYRAMID FROM THE SIDE
tourists from all over the world. Most everyone settled into chairs lined up atop a long, level Maya building overlooking the ceremonial center of the city. A few courageous young people sat below us on the steep stone steps leading down to the central field. The full moon was rising that night as the music started playing from speakers discreetly positioned in the buildings at each end of the ceremonial field, giving the entire experience a surreal feel. Soon, colored lights were shown on the Pyramid of the Magician and the other buildings in our view. A sound show with music and Spanish narration of a story of Maya life was accompanied by the elaborate light show. The vivid lights changed in time to the music, highlighting significant architectural symbols on the buildings. This is one event that is impossible to describe with words.

CRYSTAL CLEAR AIR AT UXMAL

JON CLIMBING DOWN LOOKS MINIATURE


















LIGHTING EMPHASIZED THE CARVINGS

UXMAL HAD A SURREAL APPEARANCE




















THE SERPENT CARVING IS HIGHLIGHTED

FULL MOON RISING OVER UXMAL

1 comment:

  1. That must have been beautiful with the full moon rising. It's amazing what they were able to build without the tools we have now.

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