Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MEXICO ~ Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque - UNESCO ~

... Wonderful postcard of one of the most important and famous prehispanic sites in Mesoamerica, surrounded by rainforest...  the palace is one of the most complex architectural structures at any Maya site... Palenque is regarded to contain some of the best bas-relief carvings and sculptures... one of the best examples of Maya architecture in all of Mexico... Thanks a lot Maggie!!

Located in the foothills of the Chiapas altiplano of modern Mexico, Palenque was an important Maya city which flourished between c. 600 and 750 CE. The name Palenque derives from the Spanish, meaning 'fortified place', but the original Maya name, we now know, was Lakamha.

Uniquely for Maya cities, at Palenque a royal residence and not a temple is the central focus of the city. The building, set on a 10-metre high platform, is largely composed of rooms arranged around internal courtyards and galleries with vaulted ceilings, the whole measuring 91 x 73 metres. Perhaps the palace's most striking feature is the square four-storey tower, another feature unique in Mesoamerican sites. The 25-metre tower was climbed via a staircase winding around the interior walls. The building was used as a royal residence and court but also as accommodation for nobles, servants, and military personnel.  The palace was also richly decorated with stucco painted in bright colours which depict scenes of Maya kings and nobility.

Palenque, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.


(Issued 30-11-2005)

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