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"The Ballcourt" Top 5 Page for this destination Copán Things to Do Tip by Pieter11

Copán Things to Do: 131 reviews and 510 photos

  The Copán Ballcourt
by Pieter11
  • The Copán Ballcourt - Copán
      The Copán Ballcourt
    by Pieter11
  • Decorations around the Ballcourt - Copán
      Decorations around the Ballcourt
    by Pieter11
  • The sides of the Ballcourt - Copán
      The sides of the Ballcourt
    by Pieter11
  • The stands of the Ballcourt - Copán
      The stands of the Ballcourt
    by Pieter11
  • The Ballcourt seen from a far - Copán
      The Ballcourt seen from a far
    by Pieter11

At the southside of the Great Plaza, the first remarkable building you will see is the Ballcourt. This building, that is estimated to be built in 731 A.D. was used for the ballgame "Juego de Pelota": a litterly deadly sport that was practised all over Mexico and Central America during the days of the Maya's.

The goal of this game was to get a rubber ball (about the size of a grapefruit) through a disk that is attached to the walls at the side of the ballcourt. While trying to do that, one was not allowed to touch the ball with his hands nor to let it touch the ground. The part that is not completely clear yet is what was done with the winners and the losers. In one version it is said that the winners were sacrified as a sign to the Gods that "only the best was sacrified to them". Others believe that the losers were sacrified to make this a good reason to show your very best in the game. And some believe no one at all was sacrified.

Was is sure, is that the game was very popular and that it was watched by important people such as the King and the higher priests. These people had a place high above the Ballcourt. Others were seated further below the stands.

The Ballcourt of Copán is the second largest that was found in Central America. It has a size of about 10 by 40 metres. In fact that are two more ballcourts hidden under the Ballcourt that you see today. This one was built under the regime of the famous King 18 Rabbit.

Address: Ballcourt, Copán Ruinas

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  • Written Jan 3, 2008
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