The Maya were an advanced society that flourished in Mesoamerica long before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. They were skilled architects, building great cities of stone that remain even a thousand years after their civilization fell into decline. The Maya built pyramids, temples, palaces, walls, residences and more.
Palenque is an archaeological site that was located on the western edge of the Maya empire in the present-day state of Chiapas, Mexico. Palenque is much smaller than some of it Mayan neighbor cities, but it contains some of the finest architecture and sculptures the Maya ever produced.
Maya architecture is best characterized by the soaring pyramid temples and ornate palaces which were built in all Maya centres across Mesoamerica from El Tajin in the north to Copan in the south. The Maya civilization was formed of independent city-states and, consequently, there are regional ...
A unique and intricate style, the tradition of Mayan architecture spans several thousands of years. Often, the buildings most dramatic and easily recognizable as Mayans are the stepped pyramids of the Terminal Pre-classic period and beyond. Being based on the general Mesoamerican architectural traditions, these pyramids relied on intricate carved stone in order to create a stairstep design.
Descendants of the Maya still live and work near where their ancestors built great cities on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Working with earth, stone, and straw, early Mayan builders designed structures that shared striking similarities with architecture in Egypt, Africa, and Medieval Europe.
The Maya civilization is famous for its architecture. Many city-states built large palaces, pyramids, and other public buildings that are still standing today. The buildings were covered with carvings and statues to honor their gods as well as to commemorate their kings. Pyramids The Maya are perhaps most known for their many majestic pyramids.
Famous Mayan Architecture. A lot of famous examples of Mayan architecture have survived to our own times. The most famous examples are of course the grand stepped pyramids. The highest pyramid and one of the finest examples of Mayan architecture is the pyramid-temple at El Mirador which is 200 meters high.
The art of the Maya has been called the richest of the New World because of the great complexity of patterns and variety of media expressions. Limestone structures, faced with lime stucco, were the hallmark of ancient Maya architecture. Maya buildings were adorned with carved friezes and roof combs in stone and stucco.
Some Mayan pyramids contained burials as well but this was the exception rather than the rule. Listed below is a list of five most beautiful surviving Mayan pyramids, standing as evidence of architectural brilliance of this Mesoamerican civilization.
Palenque. Located in southern Mexico, the ruins of the Mayan city of Palenque date back to 100 BC although its name is recently modern coming from the village located close by. The ancient name of the city was Lakam Ha, meaning "Big Water", as it has numerous springs and wide cascades. Palenque flourished in the 7 th century with its decline and fall occurring around 800 AD.