The Temple of the Warriors in Chichen Itza was built around the year 1200 and it’s one of the most beautiful and well-preserved buildings of this site. Chichen Itza has tens of buildings, but when people think of this site, they always think of The Castle, The Sacred Cenote, The Great Ball Court, and of course, the Temple of the Warriors.
In general, its construction has characteristics similar to the temple Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, in Tula, capital of the Toltec state; mainly because it was built by the relatively new Mayan-Toltec culture that was born here in Chichen Itza.
The same general concept of the pyramid that supports a great superior sanctuary, the same presence of a Chac Mool in the entrance, the same repetitive ornamentation of Eagles and Jaguars in the steps, the same pillars in the form of a serpent with its head on the ground and mouth open, while his body forms the shaft and the tail rises to support the lintel of the entrance porch. Finally, at the foot of the pyramid, the same type of columns with engravings of warriors.
The Temple of the Warriors of Chichen Itza had been preceded, just like El Castillo, by an earlier construction that was found within the current Temple. The first temple had also a Chac Mool inside, and the vaulted styles used by the Mayans.
Physical description of the Temple of the Warriors
This building is composed of a square base that measures about 40 m per side. It has stepped bodies composed of slope and board-cornice decorated with bas-reliefs in which warriors, eagles, and jaguars are seen devouring human hearts.
The stairway faces the west and has reliefs of feathered serpents whose heads protrude. There is a square-shaped temple on the base, 21 m per side, leaving a wide platform in front with pilasters decorated with figures of gods and warriors that used to support roof beams.
The facade of the Temple of the Warriors is composed of a slope and vertical wall, like a frieze interrupted by the main entrance, and decorated on each side by a board with three overlapping Chac masks, one with the effigy of the god Kukulkan emerging from the jaws of a feathered serpent with forked tongue and three other Chac masks in the corner, one above the other and with their curved and protruding noses. Then another smooth frieze between two molded cornices, ending in battlements on the roof, of which nothing remains.
On the platform and in front of the main entrance there is a Chac Mool, that although it was considered a god for a long time, it was rather considered as an intermediary between the Supreme God and men, so he could take the offerings they made.