Place: El Palacio, Palenque National Park
Location: Palenque, Mexico
Visited: August 2006
The Palace at Palenque is a complex building, constructed at different times, divided into four main courtyards, with a maze of corridors and rooms that give shape to a rambling administrative and residential block. The site was discovered 1784. Explorers could see a square tower dominating the rectangular compound formed by several buildings, then completely overgrown by a thick jungle… They soon realized the building was filled with art in many different parts. When archaeological research started at the site there were many ideas as to the function of the building and assumptions made, such as that the tower was built so that Mayan royalty and priests could observe the sun falling directly onto the Temple of the Inscriptions during the winter solstice. Archaeologists believe the tower was probably constructed by Kuk Balam II , between 764 and 783. Stuccoed reliefs with large human figures, a whole court filled with kings and tunnels with beautiful light filtering from the outside, are all part of this wonderful architectural compound that will transport you back into the time when this place was alive and important political decisions were made at this very place!