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Palenque. Mexico

Where there are Mexicans – there is Mexico
Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico
The flag of Mexico As a place where a wonderful vacation can be combined with unique informative excursions, Mexico is unparalleled. Outlandish nature, beautiful beaches and snow volcanoes, a rich history with archaeological sites of the Aztecs and Mayans, colonial palaces, many heavenly corners rich in warmth of gentle waves and friendly residents …

Geographical position of Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States, Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is located between the United States, Guatemala and Belize, on the isthmus connecting North America with South. In the west, Mexico is washed by the Pacific Ocean, in the east – by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

The relief of the country is mountainous, most of the territory is occupied by the Mexican Highlands, on which several elevated mountain systems are distinguished. The most significant of them is the Western Sierra Madre, which reaches 160 km in width, and in some places rises to a height of 3 kilometers. This mountain system significantly complicates road and rail links between the west and east coasts. In the northern part of the country, there is relatively little rainfall, the climate is arid. Therefore, the main vegetation is represented by various species of cacti and thorny shrubs. The vegetation on the coasts in the central and southern parts of the country becomes more diverse, where in addition to cacti and shrubs you can find forests. In the southern part of the country, near the border with Guatemala and Belize, especially on the Yucatan Peninsula, the vegetation changes dramatically: a rainforest grows here – tropical jungle, raw savannah.

The political system of Mexico is a federal republic. The head of the executive branch is the president. The legislative branch is the Supreme Court. Cactus

Climate of mexico
Yandex.Weather The climate of Mexico is moderate (north of the tropic of cancer), subtropical in the north of the tropics, tropical in the south. In the region of the Mexican highlands it is usually cooler than on the coast, where the air temperature does not drop below + 20 ° C even in winter. In northern Mexico, little snow falls in winter.

Mexico is the cradle of many great ancient civilizations. The cities of pre-Columbian cultures most popular with tourists, such as the Aztec Teotihuacan or the Mayan Chichen Itza, have been cleared and “cultivated.” They undoubtedly deserve great interest, but we chose another object for our collection of attractions – the Palenque complex, hidden in the jungle of Chiapas.

The name “Palenque” is conditional, as the Spaniards called it. Maya Indians called the city of Lakam-ha – “big water.” The ancient city has long remained unknown to the Spanish colonialists. At the end of the XVII century. a military detachment accidentally stumbled upon the village of Santo Domingo de Palenque about the existence of which the authorities were unaware. And nearby, in the forest, ancient ruins were found, also called Palenque in the neighboring village. The first expedition to explore the city was sent in 1784 and since then Palenque is one of the most studied pre-Columbian cities in Mexico.

Palenque complex cannot be called very large, but its significance is undeniable. The main buildings date back to the 6th – 8th centuries. They are associated with the ancient Mayan state of Baakul. The Baakul kingdom transferred the capital from the unidentified city of Toktan to Lakam-ha (which is confidently considered the present Palenque) in 490. The initial period of the kingdom is not well known to us, but under the reign of K’inich Khanab Paqal (better known as Pakal the Great), Baakul’s power increased tremendously and in the capital – Palenque – began large-scale stone construction. In the posthumous inscriptions Pacal is called “the owner of the five pyramids.”

The chronicles of the Baakul kingdom suddenly break off in 736, apparently there was a further period of decline, probably caused by military defeat (presumably as a result of the invasion from the Gulf of Mexico). The subsequent few records finally ceased in 799. Obviously, the Baakul kingdom collapsed. However, no traces of intentional destruction were found in Palenque, so the final reasons for the death of the state remain controversial.

The center of Palenque is the palace – a group of buildings around two large and two small courtyards, above which stands a square tower in plan. Three pyramidal “temples” are distinguished in the complex: “Temple of the Sun”, “Temple of the Cross” and “Temple of the inscriptions” (with the tomb of Pakal).

The body of the great ruler was richly cleaned with jade jewelry, and a jade mask was put on his face. The sarcophagus is covered with a skillfully carved stove. All treasures were transferred to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. A copy of the famous carved plate remained in Palenque.

A plate from Pakal’s sarcophagus is simply a cultic artifact of various ufologists and supporters of the theory of paleocontacts. Even Erich von Daniken saw in the figure of the ruler passing into the world of the dead, “an exact image of the astronaut” behind the control panel of the aircraft.

Access to the territory is open from 8:00 to 17:00.

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