Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tulum, part 2 - Temple of Frescoes

Greetings blog friends, I hope you are staying warm.  It is frigid here in Georgia and I worry about the citrus crops in Florida because of the sub zero cold. Wishing I was back in Tulum among the ruins as I write this.   There was so much to see in Tulum that it became two posts.  Today, I will share photos and information about the Temple of Frescoes, another favorite temple located there of mine.

The Temple of the Frescoes, directly in front of the Castillo, was used as an observatory for tracking the movements of the sun. It contains interesting 13th-century frescoes, though visitors are no longer permitted to enter.  The frescoes represent the rain god Chaac and Ixchel, the goddess of weaving, women, the moon, and medicine.   This is a smaller temple like the Temple of the Descending God but rich in carvings and fresco remains. (photos will enlarge if you click on them)

Facing the front or entrance to the temple, both the right and the left corners have a carved face.  You must stand back to truly see them.  I have taken a closeup of both corners for you below.

This is the right corner of the temple and you can see the awake or open eye of the rain god.

On the left corner of the temple you can see the  sleeping or closed eye of the rain god.

The Descending God is seen on the top colonnade of the temple.

Remains of red paint and hand prints from the original frescoes.  All of the buildings and especially the temples had a plaster finish and were rich in colors and paintings.  Brilliant lapis blues and brilliant reds would abound.  There is something wonderful about seeing hand prints on ancient buildings.  Knowing that another before me, so long ago, has left their mark on this building is always spiritual to me.

If you look closely, you will see my little friend slowly climbing the stairs of yet another temple foundation to bake in the sun.

Looking out to the sea from  the back of Le Castillo.  Watching the surf crash along the reef and recognizing the part of the reef that is open for passage which provided entry to past visitors into Tulum is like having a secret key to a passage way.

 Small patch of beach that overlooks the reef below.

The crashing surf is hypnotic to watch.

The beach below was filled with Tulum visitors.  I would have walked down the 7 flights of winding stairs below to play in the water but I would never have made it back up with my arthritic knee.  Sigh.

Back side of Le Castillo, I wanted to show the sheerness of the pyramid stone wall.

Le Castillo - The Castle and main temple.  Beautiful.  I would have loved to walk among the buildings,to feel the presence of those who have gone before me but they are roped off to protect them from too many feet.

One last look at the beautiful turquoise reef before we began the walk back to the tour bus.  This was my favorite "land" place with our visit to Cancun.  The Mexican government is to be commended for taking such pride and care in this jewel of their history and it is a tribute to their respect for the Mayan and its rich heritage. I am privileged and humbled to have been fortunate enough to pass through it.  Sea Witch


Thewhimsicalchick said...

Okay Ms. Mermaid when are we going here on a girls trip. I feel warmer just looking at the pictures.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Beautiful place and that water looked so inviting but I'd feel the same way ...the climb back up would have been a killer!

Nice warm photos on this cold winter night...thank you for the mini virtual vacation!

Stay warm!

Sandy and Joe/rhubarb reign said...

What beautiful photos -- especially on a dark, snowy Indiana morning. Thanks for sharing -- and thanks for your nice comment on our blog! Keep warm. xo