Photo of the Week: El Castillo, Chichen Itza

Chichén Itzá is Mexico’s most famous, and most visited, ancient Mayan sites.  The spectacular focal point of this pre-Columbian/pre-Hispanic era city, is the Temple of Kukulkan, more commonly known as El Castillo.

El Castillo has 365 steps, one for each day of the year.  There are 91 steps on each side and the top platform makes the 365th.  Every Spring and Autumn equinox, a shadow is cast on the pyramid in the shape of a serpent, descending the steps as the sun sets.  Eventually the shadowy snake slithers to the base of the great staircase, where it joins a stone serpent head.  This incredible phenomenon demonstrates the accuracy of Maya astronomy. | Photo of the Week: El Castillo, Chichen Itza

Storm clouds roll over El Castillo (Temple of Kukulkan) at Chichen Itza.

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