Chichén Itzá, Wonder of the World
Among the zones that have figured strongly in the history of Mexico is the Yucatán Peninsula, the home of a major pre-Hispanic civilization: the Maya. And among its great centers is Chichén Itzá, considered one of the “seven new wonders of the world".
Where does this notion of wonders of the world come from?
What are known today as “the seven wonders of the ancient world” were determined during the Hellenist period: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Great Pyramid at Giza. Despite being the oldest of them all, the latter is the only one to have survived.
Inspired by antiquity, a competition was organized to determine the wonders of today’s world. People everywhere were encouraged to vote via Internet or by telephone, and then in 2007 “the seven new wonders of the modern world” were announced: Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan, the Coliseum in Rome and of course, Chichén Itzá in Mexico (the Temple of Kukulcán, to be exact).
Today, Chichén Itzá is one of the major archeological and tourist sites in the country, informing Mexicans about their ancestors and welcoming streams of visitors, both national and foreign, every year. Situated on the Yucatán Peninsula, like Cancún, Cozumel and Mérida, many tourists use the proximity among them to create an itinerary that includes several sights.
Chichén Itzá Archeological Zone
Maya mythology says that the pyramid known as the Temple of Kukulcán was created in honor of the god of the same name, Kukulcán being the Maya name for Quetzalcóatl.
Amidst trees and cenotes, the Chichén Itzá archeological zone, once one of the Maya world’s main centers, has been considered World Heritage by the UNESCO since 1988.
Cover and main pictures by Embajada de México en Polonia y Franx' from Flickr.