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"El Castillo - the calendar" Top 5 Page for this destination Ruinas Chichén-Itzá Things to Do Tip by Maria_75

Ruinas Chichén-Itzá Things to Do: 287 reviews and 491 photos

  El Castillo
by Maria_75

The pyramid is built as the mayan calendar. The mayas was very great mathematicians and astronomers, and had two different calendars ( you can read much more about this under my general tips). The most amazing about this pyramid is the similarities to the calendar. There are so many that it can't just be a coincidence. And of course there are the events that occur on equinox (more about this in another tip).

Similarities of the pyramid and the calendar
- There are 9 stages on each side of the pyramid, split in half by the staircase it makes 18. The mayan solar calendar had 18 months.

- On each of the 9 stages there are 3 or 4 rectangular panels, a total of 52. The two mayan calendars add up in a 52 year cycle, and this cycle was very important to them.

- On each of the staircases there are 91 steps. There are four staircases giving a total of 364 steps. The platform on top is the last step for all of them, which makes it 365 steps total. The solar calendar had 365 steps. Also the shadow of each day falls on a different step.

- There are 4 sides of the pyramid, and 4 different seasons in the year.

- The pyramid is skewed exactly 18 degrees, again reffering to the calendars 18 months.

- On the roof of the temple there are (were) 5 small shapes on each side, giving a total of 20. There are 20 "day names" of the ritual calendar.

- At equinox the shadow on the side of the staircase connects the head of the feathered serpent, Kukulcán, at the bottom with the top. The "body" of the snake is made of 7 light triangles and 6 shadow triangles, making it 13 triangles. The ritual calendar had 13 "day numbers" (slso the underworld had 13 levels but more of this on the equinox-tip).

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  • Written Nov 12, 2004
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