Chichen Itza

El Castillo

View at the top

Image description

This is the Portico (entrance) to the high temple located at the top of El Castillo.

This is the largest entrance to the inner temple where it is believed the Maya religious ceremonies were performed. The doorway faces north towards the Sacred Cenote. The stairway to this entrance has the giant twin heads of the plumed serpent at the base.

You can see the Toltec influence on the Maya, where the doorways consist of twin representations of Kukulcan supporting the upper lintel of the entrances. The heads have long since been destroyed or removed, as have the tips of the rattles,  but the carved stone images of the body of Kukulcan are still visible and are in the same design as those images of Kukulcan found in the Temple of the Warriors and the upper temple of the Temple of the Jaguar.  The serpents represent the Kuxan Sum, or the great mystic umbilicus that connected the rulers of the city to their gods in the sky.

Inside this part of the temple the support columns are richly carved stone that were once painted. One of these columns is shown here.

-- Chris Reeves