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Mayan sites

Architecture of the Maya

The city of Campeche has a wonderful museum detailing the various architecture styles of the Mayan sites. This resulted in us visiting many small sites that exemplified the various styles, including trying (unsuccessfully) to reach the Rio Bec site which gave its name to an architectural style.

“Puuc”: This is considered the most aesthetic of Mayan architectural styles, of which Uxmal is the most famous example. The lower portion of the building façades are unadorned, while the upper façade is richly decorated with figures from Maya mythology, feathered serpents being quite prominent. Long-nosed masks of the Maya rain god Chaac are also found on Puuc buildings.
“Chenes”: This is, in my opinion, the most dramatic style of the Maya: The “monster-mouth” entrances to temples or tombs as seen in the picture of Hochob below. This can also be seen on the stucco façade of the tomb of the king of Ek-Balam.
Rio Bec: Characterized by steep, unclimbable twin towers with a simulacrum of a temple on top. The site of Xpuhil has three such towers.

There are many variations, of course, the site of Chichén Itzá has a lot of Toltec influence. A lot of sites seem to have a combination of the above three styles.

Maya sites in Campeche and Yucatan

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