This is the Magician's Pyramid of Uxmal, near Merida, Mexico. It towers above the trees in the central Yucatan. Below is a detailed photo of the staircase on the left side of the above photo.
These stone faces of Chac, the Mayan rain god, line the staircase up the entire facade of the great pyramid shown in the top photo. If you look closely at the stair case in the top photo, you can see the statues that line the side of the staircase.
The intricate detail of the stone work is impressive and inspiring. Note the serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, called Kulkucan by the Maya. It combines the body of a rattlesnake with the plumed head or feathers of a quetzal bird
The Magician's Pyramid, framed here in an archway, is 35 m. (115 ft) tall. It was built from the 6th - 10 centuries. Uxmal is impressive, and it can be enjoyed peacefully, as it lacks the crowds of Chichenitza, which is in the same region.
This quadrangle surrounded by buildings such as the one above was given the name Nunnery by the Spaniards, as the small chambers surrounding the courtyard reminded them of a nunnery.
This is called the Magician's Pyramid because the legend is that it was built in one night by a dwarf. In reality, it took 400 years to complete.
The serpent is a common theme in Mayan architecture, as are geometric patterns. This is a great example.
A last look at the back of the Magician's Pyramid. Mayan Pyramids are much steeper than the Great Pyramids of Egypt. 1,000 years ago, this pyramid was painted red, with the details accented in blue, yellow and black. Today, the plaster has eroded and it is bare limestone. What a sight it must have been when it was brightly colored. What a sight it is today!