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Pyramid of the Magician
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrLocated in Uxmal, which is considered one of the most important structural highlights of the Mayan culture, the Pyramid of the Magician is a massive Mesoamerican step pyramid that stands high at 115 feet.
Legend has it that an old, childless witch hatched a magical dwarf from an Iguana egg, who became a dwarf adult in just a year. When the ruler of the city found out about this, he felt threatened by the dwarf’s feats of strength and asked him to either build the biggest temple taller than any other in the city in one night, or he would face execution the next day. With his mother's help, the dwarf constructed this magnificent pyramid, and as a result, was proclaimed a magician and the new ruler of Uxmal.
The site of Uxmal, where this pyramid is located, is considered to be one of the most beautiful and intricate expression of the Puuc architectural style. The Pyramid of the Magician is the very first distinctive building you see once you enter the Uxmal ruins. What's so unique about this building is that it has an elliptical base and rounded sides, a style that is very unusual among Mayan pyramids. Archaeologists have found that this pyramid was built using a common construction practice among Mayans called “superimposition”, which means that nestled under pyramid you see today is actually 5 other temples, each superimposed on the other.
The first temple can be see seen at the pyramid's base while ascending the western staircase. The exterior of this structure is decorated with the carvings and masks of the Mayan rain God, Chaac. The second and third temple is visible from the Eastern staircase. The fourth temple, entered from the west side, is very ornate with the Chaac mask as the facade, and its jaws as the door. The fifth temple, located at the top of the East stairs, is the Pyramid of the Magician. It is splayed with beautiful lattice ornamentation and has 3 rooms.
Following the traditional Puuc architectural style, the Pyramid of the Magician has a rather bare base with the decoration getting richer as you go up.
More About Uxmal BuildingsOther than the Pyramid of the Magician, there are many other sites present in the Uxmal ruins. These include The Nunnery Quadrangle which consists of 4 buildings, each with its facade decorated in an unique and impressive way, making it a treat for the eyes. Uxmal also locates one of the most beautiful works of the Puuc architecture, called the Palace of the Governor. The artwork on this building is very intricate and grandiose. Located next to it are other exquisite archaeological gems called the House of the Turtles, The Great Pyramid, and the Temples of the Doves.
Traveling to UxmalUxmal is 6 hours away from Riviera Maya , and there are plenty of resorts and hotels near the ruins. An affordable and reliable way to reach Uxmal is through a bus, but you can also rent a car. From Merida, Uxmal is an hour away. Other ruins very close to Uxmal includes Kabah, Labna, and Sayil.
A sound and light show is hosted at the Uxmal ruins every evening, with its main focal point being the Pyramids of the Magician. Even though it is now prohibited to climb this site due to conservation efforts, the panoramic view is simply breathtaking and totally worth the visit.
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Author: Convergence. Last updated: Jan 24, 2015