1. Chichen Itza was built by Maya People
The history of Chichen Itza can be traced back to the classic period of Mayan civilization. Chichen Itza was a big city built by the Maya people. It thrived from about 600 AD. until 1221 when the power in the region shifted to Mayapan. Throughout its nearly 1,000 year’s history, different people have left their mark in this city.
2. Chichen means mouth of well
The term “Chichen Itza” connotes “mouth of well of the Itza.” The Itza people are believed to have been a lineage ethnic group.
3. Chichen is a popular tourist site in Mexico
Chichen Itza is the second most popular site for tourists who visit Mexico. It is deemed to be one of the Seven Wonders of the New World located on the Yucatan Peninsula.
4. Chichen Itza sits on two natural sinkholes
The location where Chichen Itza sits is believed to be the same location where two large natural sinkholes that provided water year-round were located. There is common belief that these sinkholes were being used to offer human sacrifice. These offerings took place in times of drought, and men, women and children would be thrown into the well as an offering to the chac god. The chac god is the Maya god of rain and lightning. The sacrifices were done to end drought.
5. Chichen Itza gets 1.2 million visitors annually
Roughly 1.2 million people visit the ruins of Chichen Itza annually. In about 600 AD, Chichen Itza started to obtain importance in the region. Between 900 and 1050 AD, Chichen Itza became a powerful capital. It also controlled northern and central Yucatan at the time. The main part of Chichen Itza covered about 5 square kilometers, but scholars have found proof that smaller settlements that belong to the city extend further out.
6. Chichen Itza is a religious centre
Chichen Itza is said to have been a religious center for a period of time, it is presumed to be the pilgrimage place for the Maya. It is said that the site where Chichen Itza sits was at the time a popular site of pilgrimage before the building of the city ever commenced. Today the location is visited by tourists and religious pilgrims alike.
7. Casa Colorada are the best preserved buildings in Chichen Itza
The Casa Colorada is one of the best preserved buildings at Chichen Itza. This building has an 869AD Maya date inscribed on it, making it one of the oldest buildings with such dates in the entire Chichen Itza.
8. Chichen Itza is home to the El Castillo pyramid
The El Castillo pyramid and the Temple of Kukulkan are found in Chichen Itza. The 365 step pyramid sits on the magnificent city of Chichen Itza; the steps were constructed throughout the year, one step each day. The Maya empire entailed talented people and advanced astronomers. The pyramid forms a temple with four sides, each side has 91 steps making the top level with the 365th step.
9. Human remains have been found in Chichen Itza
Human remains discovered at the site of Chichen Itza have led to the popular belief that some form of human sacrifice once took place there. Those sacrifices were possibly a form of worship to chac, who was the Maya rain god.
10. All buildings in Chichen Itza are made of stone
Stone is the material used for all buildings in Chichen Itza. It is said that that the Maya people did not use the wheel to build any of their temples, pyramids or palaces. The construction of the city of Chichen Itza took place on rough terrain covering an area of 5 square kilometers or more. The area had to be manually leveled off in preparation for construction work.