Chichen Itza

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Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is an archeological site and former city of the Maya people built sometime around the 9th century in Yucatan, Mexico. El Castillo, a four-sided, step-pyramid meant to be a temple, is one of the most famous structures in the city.

The pyramid is made of stone in shades of gray, white, and cream. Its nine levels or large steps are stacked on top of one another, decreasing in size until reaching a flat top. On each of the pyramid’s four sides, a staircase made of rows of stone brick climbs from the ground to this flat top. The width of this staircase stays the same the whole way up so that it takes up more of the pyramid’s side as it goes higher. The staircases are connected to the sides of the pyramid with stone bricks but stick out from the sides more at the base until eventually running flush with the top, flat surface.

Each level that makes up the pyramid is comprised of rows of stone squares and rectangles; the rows vary in height. Some of these stone bricks are sunken in to form patterns. These patterns are the same on every side of the pyramid. The bottom few rows of stones on each level are sunken in, and on top of that there are three sunken rectangles with the horizontal long ends being not much longer than the vertical short ends. As the levels get smaller on the way up, the three rectangles get slightly closer together and the spaces on either end get smaller.

On the flat top of the pyramid lies a square building with cut out doors on every side visitors can enter. On one of the sides, the entrance is wider with two round columns on either side of the very middle. These columns are topped with a wider cylinder like the top of a screw. Midway up this square building, a band of molding wraps around all sides mimicking the molding that also exists around its flat roof. Visitors can be seen on the long staircases, in and around the four entrances of the building on top, and even on the flat roof.