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Chichanchob in Chichen Itza is the largest and best preserved of the four buildings that surround the plaza or main plain. Chichanchob translates as “small holes” from the Mayan chi’ich’ichan, meaning “small”, and ch’ob, “hole”, perhaps because of the small holes in its raised crest. It’s also commonly known as Red House “Casa Colorada”, because of a strip painted in red inside the vestibule or first bay.
The Red House in Chichen Itza’s Ball Court
This structure corresponds to the Puuc style, although later itzáes built a small ball game attached to the rear wall or the eastern side of the structure.
The inscription “final of the one tun” was found inside the Chichanchob building which refers to the year 850, this allows to establish the antiquity of the building.
This monument is formed by a vestibule which is accessed by three entrances, and three rooms located at the back. The facade, of great simplicity, has smooth walls, only two moldings, and two crests in the upper part.
Physical description of Chichanchob in Chichen Itza
This Red House is composed of a rectangular platform with rounded corners that reaches a height of 7 meters in the form of a slope ending with a protruding molding. The base measures 22.50 m in length by 18m in width, and in the central part of its west side, there is a simple staircase 9.60 m wide, which allows access to a temple located at the top.
The Chichanchob Temple is set on a podium composed of two moldings and a central strip decorated with stone lattice, interrupted by three staircases that give access to the vestibule or first room.
It consists of two bays, one that serves as a vestibule and the other as a sanctuary with three rooms, roofed with a Mayan vault.
The facade of the Chichanchob temple is smooth and with well-cut stones; it has a frieze between two molded cornices, all of which reaches the height of 3.70 m.
It has two cresting: One of them is old and original, placed in the central part of the ceiling with opening in the base and decoration of frets between cornices; and the other which was later built, placed in front of the facade with masks of the god Chac on the axis of the doors and with interspersed frets.