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Chichen Itza Facts

General Knowledge | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Chichen Itza History

A snake wriggles down the pyramid. Wait, it’s not a snake, it’s just its shadow. Where is the snake? The sun casts this shadow on the steps of Chichen Itza, on the first day of spring and fall.

Where is Chichen Itza?

Chichen Itza, located in Mexico is one of the world’s newest seven wonders and a UNESCO world heritage site. It was built on the Yucatan peninsula by the Mayans. This large pre-Columbian city flourished from 600 AD to 1221.

What does Chichen Itza mean?

Chichen Itza means “mouth of the well of Itza” as it has several sinkholes or cenotes. Chi means mouth, cheen means well and Itza means water magicians.

5 Interesting facts about Chichen Itza

  • The 75 feet tall El Castillo castle or Pyramid of Kukulchan has 365 steps (to represent the number of days in a year) which end in two serpent heads. If you clap your hand at the bottom of the pyramid, you will hear a sound similar to a Quetzal bird chirping.
  • Cenote Sagrado is a bottomless sinkhole where people were sacrificed to please ‘Chaac’ the rain god; along with gold, copper and jade.
  • El Caracol is an observatory tower with a spiral staircase. The Mayans would keenly observe the stars here through slits in the walls.
  • All the castles here were made of stone and were interconnected with cemented paths. Each building is intricately carved with images of Gods, animals and people.
  • Games were played in the Ball Court. Players would try to hit a 5 kilogram rubber ball through a high hoop on the wall, like basketball. What happens when you clap once at one end of the Ball Court? You will hear 9 echoes in the middle of the Ball Court.

Why did the Mayans disappear?

No one knows why they left this beautiful place. People suspect droughts and greed for more treasure.

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