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Palenque

Palenque is one of the four or five most prominent Maya sites in the world. It is in a totally different environment than any of the other sites I visited. First, and foremost, it has running water. The Rio Otolum runs through the center of the main plaza. It is in the highlands of northern Chiapas. There are significant slopes in the complex. The rulers of Palenque made exensive use of stele and other panels to depict major events in their lives. It is easy to see why this is such a popular attraction. It is one of the very few Maya sites to contain a tomb. "New Agers" often say Palenque is also a nexus of power from the Earth. In any case, I enjoyed my visit here.

Click Here for a link to an overall map of the Palenque ruins.


This is the sign at the main entrance. It fails to mention where you are. One of the local guides told his tour, "that's one of the reasons you hired me."


This should be the Temple of the Skulls.


Another section of the Temple of the Inscriptions complex.


A blending of the two previous photos.


This is the main section of the Temple of the Inscriptions, the tomb of Pacal.


To the right is the east end of the Temple of the Inscriptions. In the center is the Temple of the Sun. To the left is south end of the Palacio.


A blending of the two previous photos.


The Temple of the Inscriptions looking almost due south. Unfortunately, they were doing some work on the Temple, so it was closed to the public.


The Palacio and the Temple of the Sun.


The center section of the Palacio.


The north end of the Palacio, looking northeast.


A blending of the three previous photos.


The west side (the back) of the Temple of the Sun.


Palenque in 1881


A more detailed (and vertical) view of the back of the Temple of the Sun.


Up the hill from the Temple of the Sun, and within earshot of the Rio Otolum, are several small buildings. This is a reconstruction of one of the panels in one of them.


Another one of the small unexcavated buildings just east of the Rio Otolum and south of the Temple of the Sun.


The Temple of the Cross looking northeast.


A detailed look at the Temple of the Cross and its roof comb.


Sign for the Temple of the Foliated Cross


The front of the Temple of the Foliated Cross, looking east-south-east.


Inside the Temple of the Foliated Cross are three panels depicting the "World Tree," or the "Foliated Cross." It shows Chan-Bahlum taking over from his father Pacal. This is the right section.


The central section of the relief panel.


This is the left section of the panels. The bars on the bottom are actually a fence to keep people from touching the panel.


A blending of the three previous photos.


This is a close-up of the left and center panels. Some experts say this figure is Chan-Bahlum. Others say it is his father Pacal.


Looking to west-north-west out of the Temple of the Foliated Cross. To the left is the Temple of the Sun, next is Temple XIV, the Palacio in the background, and on the right are the steps to the Temple of the Cross.


Again, taken from the platform of the Temple of the Foliated Cross. From left to right: Temple XIV, the Palacio, the main steps up to the Temple of the Cross. In the background is the beautiful state of Chiapas.


A verticle view of the steps up to the platform of the Temple of the Cross.


A blending of the three previous photos.


An old picture of the Temple of the Cross. They have done a considerable amount of "restoration" since this was taken. I did not take this picture.


This is a relief at the top of Temple XIV. Some experts say this depicts Pacal in the underworld with his mother.


The Palacio as seen from the platform of Temple XIV.


The Temple of the Cross from Temple XIV.


To be honest, I cannot remember which building this is. It looks like the north end of the Palacio. But, I am not sure. Anyone know what building this is?

Click Here for a map which shows the Cross group and the Temple of the Sun in more detail.


A sign talking about the ball court.


Looking north through the ball court.

Click Here for a map which shows the ball court.


A path along the river will lead you past trees such as this. I found the wide, but narrow, trunk interesting.


The first of several pictures of the waterfalls along the Rio Otolum between the ball court and the museum.


More Water falls


I love waterfalls, and the cool water felt very nice.


I spent about an hour here at the falls.



The Palenque Museum

Here are pictures of some of the items in the museum.


part of an inscense burner.








The face of Chan-Bahlum.
































A blending of the three previous photos.

















A lifesize copy of the sarcophagus lid for Pacal.


A close-up of Pacal's face from the lid.










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Phil Konstantin


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