Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza

Temple of the Jaguar in Chichén Itzá

The Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza was built between the years 1000 and 1150. It takes its name from a sequence of jaguars located in front of the structure, it consists of different layers that are intricately carved and show different types of images. Two gigantic feathered serpents formed the columns in the entrance hall, while the interior walls were richly decorated in stone.

Physical description of The Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza
To construct this building, the long stairway of the eastern platform of the Great Ball Court had to be made, as well as the small structure at its southern end, all of which were built after the Temples of the North and the South.

In order to reach the top level, which is about 10 m high, a pyramidal base and a narrow ladder attached to its southern side were built.

Top of The Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza

The top of the Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza is supported by solid pillars shaped like serpents covered with elaborated sculpted ornaments. In the interior, the walls and roofs were covered with drawings and paintings, representing human figures, battles, houses, trees, and scenes of the domestic life.

Bottom of The Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza

This building and a staircase were constructed on the base facing to the exterior plaza with reliefs alluding to the god Kukulkan, which looks towards the west. The façade consists of a sloping and smooth vertical wall, a slightly protruding strip and a frieze between two molded panels, fully decorated with bas-reliefs based on a stone mosaic.

The front of the building has its walls decorated with warriors and quads of the man-bird-serpent, as well as three gaps formed by two pilasters, which also display figures of warriors and panels with the representation of the god Kukulkan as lord of the earth and the vegetation.

The entire interior is decorated, with rows of warriors wearing atlatl, headdresses of feathers, butterfly pectorals, belts with rear discs, padded sleeves, etc. There you can see a man sitting on a jaguar throne, similar to the one between the two pilasters of the building, and a war chief with a plumed serpent as a background. The rest of the composition is filled with hooks, volutes and interlaces, some vegetables, but within a more calligraphic style that seems to indicate that the original aesthetic sense is being lost.

Temple of the Jaguar from far away
Temple of the Jaguar from far away

Location of the Temple of the Jaguar in Chichen Itza

The bottom part of the Temple of Jaguar is located in one of the long sides of the Great Ball Court with its front looking towards the Grand Plaza with the Tzompantli platform in the front- right side followed by the Eagles and Jaguars Temple. On your front-right, you can see the Kukulkan Pyramid.

The upper part of the Temple of the Jaguar is located on the same long side of the Great Ball Court as the bottom part, but on the upper part. This Temple is looking towards the Great Ball Court’s field with the South Temple on the left, and the Temple of the Bearded man on the right.

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Hi, I'm Sergio, the creator of Mayan Peninsula where I specialize in publishing everything related to Mayan Archaeological Sites in the form of eBooks, audio, 360º photos, videos, and more.
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