free trial issue                                subscribe                                         back issues

Athena Review Image Archive  

Chichén Itzá: Plan of the Castillo by Landa (1566)

Fray Diego de Landa, in his Relación de las cosas de Yucatán written in the1560s, provided a sketch plan of the Castillo showing its orientation to east (oriente) and west (poniente), and an outline of the temple structure on top. He describes it as a steep and formidable mound:

“This structure has four stairways looking to the four directions of the world, and 33 ft. wide, with 91 steps to each that are killing to climb....When I saw it there was at the foot of each side of the stairway the fierce mouth of a serpent, curiously worked from a single stone.” The stone serpent sculptures remain in place at the bottom of the main (north) staircase.


[Fig.1: Plan of the Castillo at Chichén Itzá by Fray Diego de Landa (Relación, orig. 1566; 1973)]


Athena Review Image Archive™   | Guide to Archaeology on the Internet   |   free trial issue |  subscribe  |  back issues

Main index of Athena Review   |   Subject Index   |   Travel Pages   |  Galleries and Museums  |  Ad rates |  Current issue index

Copyright  ©  1996-2006    Athena Publications, Inc.  (All Rights Reserved).