Maya Royal City
Palenque was a classic Maya city-state located in Chiapas, Mexico, and has gained notoriety among Maya archaeologists for its extravagant architecture and refined art and writings. The temples perched upon a hill adjacent to the main plaza of Palenque give you a view from the top of the world all the way to the Gulf Coast. The Palace and Temple of the Inscriptions are two of the most remarkable structures ever conceived of by the classic Maya. The Temple of the Inscriptions is the only pyramidal structural built by the Maya specifically as a burial chamber for a ruler, similar to the Egyptian pyramids. The Palace was constructed as a succession of platforms built one on top of the other by each new ruler and has a distinct underworld and overworld. The underworld contains a series of passages and rooms for conducting ceremonies, and the overworld is where the rulers lived and performed other important rituals. The overworld theme is expressed further by the addition of a unique tower dedicated to the wind god and may have served as a lookout as well.