“Along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors are a series of about 200 columns, prompting the name “The temple of the Thousand Columns”.
Last December 29 2019, the archaeological zone of Chichen Itza broke the record for the number of visitors in a single day, 18,696 people visited the Mayan city.
Chichén Itzá is one of the “New wonders of the World” however, not many know how this ancient city was composed and what its principal wonders are. That is why The Yucatan Times in its new “The Chichén Itzá series” will provide you a closer look on the history and main buidings of this amazing new wonder of the world.
We begin with…
The Temple of the Warriors/The temple of the Thousand Columns
The Temple of the Warriors is a large stepped pyramid that was named after the surrounding carved columns depicting warriors. This temple is similar to Temple B at the Toltec capital of Tula. The one at Chichen Itza, however is much larger.
The Temple of Warriors is approached by a broad stairway with a plain, stepped ramp on either side, each ramp has figures of standard-bearers to hold flags.
You can no longer climb the stairs, but at the top, there is a Chac Mool statue depicting a reclining figure supporting itself on its elbows with a bowl or a disk upon its stomach. Chac Mools were considered messengers of the Gods and used to hold religious offerings in the upraised flat plate area on the figure’s stomach. Some speculate this was where beating hearts of the sacrificial victims were placed as a spectacle for the crowds below in the plaza.
The temple is made with four platforms; 200 round and square columns on the south and west sides. Like many of the pyramids and other buildings in the Mayan world, the Temple of the Warriors shows evidence of being built over a preexisting structure.
Along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors are a series of about 200 columns, prompting the name “The temple of the Thousand Columns”.
When Chichen Itza was inhabited these would have supported an extensive roof system. The columns are in three distinct sections: a west group, that extends the lines of the front of the Temple of Warriors; a north group, which runs along the south wall of the Temple of Warriors and contains pillars with carvings of soldiers in bas-relief; and a northeast group, which apparently formed a small temple at the southeast corner of the Temple of Warriors.
The building spans 40 meters (131 feet) wide. The square columns are carved with images of Toltec warriors; you still see some traces of the paint. The columns held a roof likely made of palm and grass
There are two carved pillars just behind the Chac Mool which represent Kukulcán. The voracious serpent has its mouth open and is adorned with rattles. Astronomical signs decorate the eyes. The same two serpent design (indicating Toltec influences) is shown on the North face of El Castillo and on the Temple of the Jaguars overlooking the Grand Ball Court.
The Yucatan Times