Since we can start counting kilometres on January 1st, we thought you might like some information on our first destination – Chichen Itza in the Yukatan (Mexico)
If anyone actually visits this popular site this winter, we would love to see a photo !
FACTS ABOUT CHICHEN ITZA
- This famous Mayan site may not be entirely Mayan.
- It is true that Chichen Itza was built in two stages – the Pre-Classic or Formative period, completely dominated by the Mayan Civilization and the latter period with influences of the Toltec regime.
- Chichen Itza gets its name from a cenote nearby.
- A large cenote also called the Sacred Cenote and believed to have been used for sacrificial purposes. Chichen means “mouth of the wells”
- The main pyramid nests multiple smaller pyramids inside it.
- the Kukulkan Pyramid (30 meters in height) nests within itself two smaller pyramids (20 meters and 10 meters tall).
- Monuments of Chichen Itza were astronomically aligned.
- You can see a round-shaped observatory, the El Caracol, which was specifically used to gauge the positions of planets and the sun.
- The Pyramid of Kukulkan has 365 steps – 91 on each side and one at the top. This equals the number of days in a year. The huge pyramid, in fact, functioned as one big calendar.
- The Serpent God, Kukulkan descends on the pyramid twice every year.
- During the spring and autumn equinoxes the sun forms the shadow of a serpent, slowly moving down the stairs as the sun sets, when it merges with the serpent head at the bottom of the stairs.
- Apart from mysterious shadows, Chichen Itza is home to mysterious sounds!
- If you clap your hands at the base of El Castillo’s stairs, you can hear an echo that is unlike anything else. It sounds like quetzal, a bird that was considered sacred in the Mayan culture.
- Chichen Itza had the largest ball court in the Americas.
- The Great Ball Court at Chichen Itza is the largest in the Americas. The deadly but popular ball game of Mesoamerica was played here. Losers were decapitated at the end of the game.
- Gruesome death practices were openly flaunted in Chichen Itza.
- The land of the Mayans was not only about fun and festivities. It was a lot about gruesome sacrifices and brutal death penalties. Quite similar to what occurred at the Colosseum in Rome.
- Until 2006, tourists were allowed to climb El Castillo.
- The pyramid was banned to climbers in January 2006 when a woman tumbled to death while descending the steps.
- . Chichen Itza met a mysterious end.
- The glory of Chichen Itza declined and the city met a mysterious end in the 14th century. The residents moved out never to come back to the city again.
Learn more about our seven destinations at the Globe Walk Launch (January 6, 2020 – McClure United Church, 4025 Taylor St. E. – 1-3 pm). Doors open at 12:30.
Register by emailing globewalk@scoa or call 306 652-0027