El Castillo translates to “the Castle.” It has many names but is known as the temple of Kukulkan, the pyramid of Kukulkan, or the Great Plaza.
It highlights the ancient ruined city of Chichen Itza of the Mayan people. The pyramid is in the central part of Chichen Itza and is its most iconic and well-known structure.
The Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the 16th Century named it Wo Castillo. It reminded them of the castles they were familiar with in Europe.
El Castillo is a 30 meters (98 feet) tall Pyramid with four sides, each with a staircase leading to the top.
The Mayans built the pyramid in the 9th century AD, a temple dedicated to the feathered snake god, Kukulkan, associated with the planet Venus.
Mayan people are known to be pretty advanced in astronomy and mathematics, which is evident from the ingenious and thoughtful design of the pyramid.
Experts believe El Castillo was used as a calendar by the Mayan people. It was accurate too upto a few hours each year.
Each of the four sides of the pyramid has 91 steps, up to 364. After counting the temple at the top, the total reaches 365 days.
The temple is an essential symbol of Mayan civilization and its cultural and religious traditions.
Check out this video of El Castillo to know more about this marvel:
There are numerous fascinating stories related to the temple of Kukulkan and it would be best explored after booking a guided tour of Chichen Itza.
If you want to explore the mesmerizing pyramid of Chichen Itza at your own leisurely pace then you can book a self-guided audio-narrated map tour of Chichen Itza.
The temple is a site for the Chichen Itza light show which adds another way to experience this unique place at night.
You can get a night tour of Chichen Itza with dinner and a cave adventure to witness this truly amazing show.
The show is truly captivating and a must-see action city when visiting Chichen Itza. You can read about it in more detail at the Chichen Itza light show.
Since visitors are no longer allowed to climb the stairs of the temple, it has become a center of even more mystery and allure.
Like the other pyramid of Chichen Itza, the Temple of Kukulkan is also constructed from a type of limestone known as Travertine, which was quarried from nearby caves.
Many rumors and legends about the pyramid of Chichen Itza claim that the El Castillo caves are among the most popular. Although, these El Castillo caves are yet to be found.
However, there is a hidden second pyramid within the outer walls of the temple of Kukulkan. But recently, archaeologists have speculated that the third pyramid is within the second one.
The pyramid is decorated with numerous intricate carvings, hieroglyphs, and reliefs that depict Mayan gods and deities from daily life and mythology.
The pyramid becomes a thing of fascination not just because of its architecture but the stories attached to it.
It is believed that El Castillo has been used as a site for human sacrifices by the Maya as well.
This explains why El Castillo is a popular spot for paranormal activity. So, if you are a paranormal enthusiast, book El Castillo tickets.
So it is a whole package. An ancient temple in a ruined city full of history, culture, religion, myths, and folklore.
To know more in detail, we’d recommend getting a guided tour of Chichen Itza. Discover the numerous fascinating stories, El Castillo facts and other attractions of Chichen Itza.
Note:There are plenty of private guided tours of Chichen Itza that will be perfect for exploring the mysterious pyramids of Chichen Itza and learning about the fascinating stories. Learn about the Chichen Itza and choose the appropriate ticket for yourself.
Why is El Castillo famous?
El Castillo, or the Temple of Kukulkan, is the central structure in the entire Mayan city Chichen Itza archaeological complex.
It is popular due to its superior architectural design based on Mayans’ advanced knowledge of astronomy and natural cycles.
El Castillo is also known as the Great Plaza due to its towering presence. Learn About the Chichen Itza snake shadow that will reveal more to you.
why was El Castillo built?
El Castillo is approximately at the center of the Chichen Itza complex, which is an ancient Mayan city.
The city was mainly a ceremonial center full of pyramids and temples for Mayan civilizations. And the biggest of all pyramids is the El Castillo.
It is Spanish for “The castle” and is dedicated to the deity Kukulkan or Kukulcan. That’s why El Castillo is also called the temple of Kukulkan.
Learn about the Chichen Itza ruins before your visit.
Is Chichen Itza and El Castillo pyramid same?
Chichen Itza is the name of the entire Mayan complex or the Ruins of the Mayan city that is left in the Yucatan Peninsula.
El Castillo is the central pyramid of this ruin. It is really impressive, with exactly 365 steps showcasing the advanced astronomy knowledge of the Mayans.
Apart from this, various other interesting and beautiful structures are part of the Chichen Itza ruins.
Is El Castillo a wonder of the world?
El Castillo or the Great Castle is at the central area of a vast Mayan ruin located in the Yucatan Peninsula called the Chichen Itza.
The Chichen Itza is one of the modern Wonders of the World or the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Featured Image: Chichenitza.com