Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal

Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal
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The Quadrangle of the Birds is a courtyard bounded by four structures that frame the Pyramid of the Magician, this set of structures was built in various stages throughout the life of Uxmal. The name Quadrangle of the Birds was given because of the figures of macaws decorating the west building. 

A Macaw in the Quadrangle of the Birds east building in Uxmal
A Macaw in the Quadrangle of the Birds east building in Uxmal

Building stages of the Quadrangle of the Birds

The Platform
The first stage when building the Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal was, of course, the platform, that was later modified to cover more space, so the newer structures could be placed on top of it.

The Quadrangle of the Birds east building

Quadrangle of the Birds east building in Uxmal
Quadrangle of the Birds east building in Uxmal

This building is Puuc style with its smooth low walls only interrupted by false columns attached to the facade. In the upper part the friezes were profusely decorated with a diagonal latticework of carved stone, and masks of the god Chaac. Much of this upper wall is no longer appreciated today, due to the marked deterioration in which it is located. The building originally had five chambers with their respective accesses, the chambers at the ends had an additional access each. Due to later stages of construction, the accesses were mostly closed.

The Quadrangle of the Birds north and south buildings

In a subsequent constructive stage, the north and south buildings were erected simultaneously, with an open access to the west. These two buildings lack ornaments in their walls and are smaller in dimensions and height than their predecessor the eastern building. Both buildings are composed of three paired chambers, giving a total of six cameras for each building. In their respective central accesses, there is a colonnade, which in the case of the south building covers the entire façade.

The Quadrangle of the Birds west building

Quadrangle of the Birds west building in Uxmal
Quadrangle of the Birds west building in Uxmal

The west building ended up closing the square giving rise to the quadrangle of birds. The Quadrangle of the Birds western building was decorated in Puuc style, which is characterized by having an access framed by a false Mayan Arch and in its frieze, walls adorned by colonnades attached to the facade lacking structural function.

The Quadrangle of the Birds Chambers

Quadrangle of the Birds chambers in Uxmal
Quadrangle of the Birds chambers in Uxmal

The last constructive stage includes the creation of the chambers attached to the west building, which gave the name to this entire complex because they have friezes adorned with images of birds perched on a frieze.

Carved stone that simulates the shapes of a palm roof gives the impression of a Mayan shack.

Quadrangle of the Birds east building in Uxmal 1

At its bases, we can see a series of half-moons, while the corners show the jaws of a stylized snake.

Physical description of the Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal

There are 4 structures that create a patio west of the Pyramid of the Magician. The north structure has two small entrances on the left and right, and in the middle, there’s a bigger entrance to a chamber with three columns. The west structure has an arch similar to the one found in the Nunnery Quadrangle that leads to this same building. To the south, there’s a building with more than 10 columns. Last and most impressive is the Pyramid of the Magician on the east side of this patio.
The entrance to this patio is through the arch in the west building and also between the west and south buildings.

Location of the Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal

The Quadrangle of the Birds in Uxmal is right behind the Pyramid of the Magician. It’s a nearly closed rectangle between the Pyramid and the Nunnery Quadrangle.

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Sergio

Sergio

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